Lewis Goldsworthy stood strong for Somerset on a difficult opening day for the visitors in this LV= Insurance County Championship match against Kent at the Spitfire Ground, Canterbury.

Goldsworthy will resume on 93 not out when Somerset begin today on 195 for nine after almost single-handedly helping the visitors recover from nine for three. Craig Overton was the next highest scorer with 30 and his stand of 65 with Goldsworthy for the sixth wicket looked to have steered the visitors out of danger.

Former Somerset bowler Nathan Gilchrist boosted Kent’s survival hopes by claiming five for 55 including a spell of three for 0 in nine balls.

Gilchrist was on a hat-trick when bad light and rain stopped play at 5.07pm, while Matt Quinn has three for 32.

The hosts began the day knowing they needed 10 points to avoid relegation to Division Two. Heavy overnight rain delayed the start, but play eventually began at noon, with Somerset opting to bat despite heavy cloud cover.

Kent immediately made inroads, Quinn getting Tom Lammonby caught for a duck by Jack Leaning at second slip with the fourth ball of the match. Gilchrist then removed Tom Abell for five, caught by the same fielder, and when Andrew Umeed was lbw to Quinn for four, Kent had taken just 28 minutes to secure a first bonus point.

It might have been worse for the visitors, but Goldsworthy was put down by Ollie Robinson off Gilchrist and they recovered to 43 for three at lunch.

There was a painful start to the afternoon session, in more than one sense, for George Bartlett. Gilchrist’s second ball hit him amidships and after staggering back to the crease he was caught behind off the next ball.

Conor McKerr was initially denied the wicket of James Rew when he was dropped by Zak Crawley at first slip, but he edged the very next delivery to Daniel Bell-Drummond at third slip and was out for 16.

Ben Green had made 12 when Quinn clipped the top of his middle stump, but an elegant cover drive off Gilchrist took Goldsworthy to his half-century, and when Crawley then dropped Overton off Gilchrist, Kent were punished as the visitors responded with their biggest stand of the innings.

Overton was on 27 when Ollie Robinson missed a difficult, one-handed chance off Gilchrist, but he was out in Gilchrist’s next over, his off stump sent flying for 30. Gilchrist then had Kasey Aldridge caught by Robinson for a duck and with his next delivery he pinned Sajid Khan lbw, securing Kent a third bowling bonus point.

With the light deteriorating, Jack Brooks came in to face the hat-trick ball while the umpires were conferring. The game was halted before Brooks could take guard, and when heavy rain began to fall play was abandoned, forcing Gilchrist to have to sleep on what would be his first ever hat-trick.