Published: 5th May, 2014
Surrey endured a tough day at Canterbury as Kent closed on 355-4 leading by 70. The hosts total was built around a third wicket partnership of 197 from Brendan Nash and Rob Key who both made 126 to put the home side in a commanding position.
Surrey began the morning on their overnight 276-8 with Stuart Meaker and Matthew Dunn at the crease. Meaker scored the first runs of the day with a boundary to third man but on 19 he was LBW to Mitchell Claydon to leave Surrey 284-9.
Doug Bollinger then ended the innings when he bowled Jade Dernbach for 1 as Surrey were all out for 289. Sam Northeast and Key gave Kent a solid start to their reply with Key particularly severe on anything drifting onto his pads.
Northeast settled and the Kent opening pair looked solid in defence but were also positive when the attacking opportunity presented itself. The score moved past fifty and Surrey searched for the breakthrough as batting looked a comfortable proposition. Northeast began to dominate the scoring and from his 75th delivery he moved to an accomplished fifty an innings that had included five crisp boundaries.
Together Key and Northeast guided the hosts to the lunch break with the scoreboard reading 85-0 and after the interval Key moved past 18,000 First Class runs with a straight drive off Dunn as the hundred partnership arrived.
Surrey needed a moment of inspiration and Aneesh Kapil provided it when Northeast on 53 top edged a hook off Meaker and the Surrey debutant took a stunning running catch. Key moved to his fifty with a thick edge off Dunn from his 89th delivery and Daniel Bell-Drummond started his afternoon with a crisp boundary from the bowling of Meaker.
Dunn was rewarded for an excellent spell of bowling when he knocked Bell Drummond’s off stump out the ground on 11 to leave the hosts 166-2. Nash joined Key was after a watchful start began to find the boundary with regularity as a third wicket partnership developed. The Kent batsmen looked comfortable as the partnership moved past fifty and struggled to exert some pressure.
The home side moved past 200 as key and Nash continued to prosper in the afternoon sunshine. Nash moved to his fifty with a couple of runs into the legside as Kent went to tea with Key 91* and Nash unbeaten on 52.
After the interval Key moved to his century in wonderful fashion as he drove Dunn to the Pavilion boundary – the Kent captain’s hundred had arrived from 161 deliveries with twelve boundaries. Nash looked in tremendous touch off both front and back foot as the runs flowed and Surrey struggled to stem the tide.
Nash was flying towards his century and Key moved Kent into the lead with a lofted boundary down the ground. And Nash moved to his hundred from 125 deliveries with a single off Ansari an innings that had included 17 boundaries.
Kent moved past 300 as Nash launched Ansari over the legside for six as the runs continued to flow. The partnership was worth 197 when Nash edged an attempted cut off Ansari on 126 and Rory Burns took a juggling catch behind the stumps.
Surrey took the new ball as soon as it became available and it paid dividends as Meaker ended Key’s stay at the crease on 126 when the Kent captain presented Dominic Sibley with a tumbling catch at cover. Ben Harmison and Darren Stevens guided the home side through to stumps with the scoreboard reading 355-4 and Kent leading by 70.
Surrey will start tomorrow knowing they must take quick wickets to stop Kent building up a substantial First innings lead after Key and Nash laid the platform for the home side.