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County Championship: Kent start well before rain closes in

Darren Stevens: Claimed two wickets in the small amount of action possible

Ned Eckersley: Made 32 before falling to Calum Haggett

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Kent enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges as the first day of their LV= County Championship Division Two clash with Leicestershire was badly hit by rain.

Only 22.3 overs of action were possible in Tunbridge Wells, with the hosts reducing their fellow strugglers to 74-4 before the weather closed in.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first but Kent's swing bowlers made good use of the overcast and breezy conditions as Charlie Shreck removed Greg Smith (6) in the third over.

Former Kent wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien (22) teamed up with Ned Eckersley to add 56 in 14 overs for the second wicket before O'Brien played inside a Darren Stevens leg-cutter that cannoned into his stumps.

Without addition to the total, Eckersley (32) aimed to cut a short wide ball from Calum Haggett but only succeeded in edging a regulation catch through to Geraint Jones behind the stumps.

Six runs on Stevens rapped Joe Burns (4) on the back pad to win a confident lbw appeal, but the rain arrived barely two overs later to force the players from the field at 12.30pm for an early lunch.

They also took an early tea at 3.10pm and, despite a concerted mopping-up operation, they never returned as umpires Peter Hartley and Steve Gale abandoned play for the day.