Century stand gives Kent the edge against Essex

Wednesday 28th July 2010

Martin van Jaarsveld had plundered an unbeaten 79 from 134 balls by tea

Kent v Essex LV= County Championship Division 1. Day One, Canterbury.

By Mark Pennell

An unbroken fourth-wicket stand worth 137 in 32 overs between Martin van Jaarsveld and Geraint Jones took Kent into a promising position come Thursday“s tea break.
Top-scorer van Jaarsveld had reached a faultless 79 while Jones kept him company with a fluent unbeaten 55.
Essex were hampered by back and side-strain injuries respectively, which ensured that neither Ravinder Bopara nor Maurice Chambers were able to bowl in the mid-session.
Kent suffered only one casualty three overs after lunch when Joe Denly (40) pushed defensively at a Bryce McGain leg-spinner only to edge a catch to Essex keeper and captain, James Foster.
Batting first in ideal conditions and having won the toss, Kent“s openers Joe Denly and Rob Key got their scoring underway with boundaries.
Former Kent seamer David Masters strayed leg-side in his opening over from the Pavilion End to be leg-glanced to the ropes by Denly, then Key pulled a loosener from Chambers through the mid-wicket boundary.
Key, playing his first game in three weeks after a fractured little finger, went on to hit one more four in reaching 13 before Cambers had his revenge. Turning the ball off his pads, Key saw Jaik Mickleburgh at forward short leg cling on to a sharp, reflex catch to make it 26 for one.
In a change to their batting policy, Kent sent in Sam Northeast at No3 in place of Jones who had held the berth throughout the opening 10 games of the season.
Northeast responded with the two best shots of the morning; a square cut to point and a clip through backward square that both raced to the boundary off Andy Carter.
Northeast then blotted his copybook by gifting away his wicket just before lunch. Down the wicket and aiming to drive against Australian wrist-spinner and Essex debutant McGain, he failed to get to the pitch and holed out to long off where substitute fielder Grant Flower took a fine running catch.