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Kemp and van Jaarsveld give Kent the lead in Kennington

Saturday 11th July 2009

Martin van Jaarsveld is in search of his third successive hundred at The Oval

Surrey v Kent LV County Championship Division 2, The Brit Oval.
Day Three.
By Mark Pennell
KENT moved the game forward at a scorching pace in Kennington courtesy of Sunday“s record opening stand worth 247 between Rob Key and Joe Denly then an unbroken, fifth-wicket partnership by Justin Kemp and Martin van Jaarsveld that took the visitors in at tea on 394 for four.
In search of his third successive hundred at the Kennington Test venue, van Jaarsveld went in at the interval unbeaten on 69 and Kemp kept him company with 71* for his part in a partnership that has added 126 thus far.
Neither player offered a chance as they saw off the new ball in the hands of Pedro Collins, Chris Jordan and Alex Tudor before putting spinners Murtaza Hussain and Usman Afzaal to the sword as they posted near identical 50s; van Jaarsveld“s from 88 balls with eight fours while Kemp“s took one ball more.
The South African pairing came together just before lunch when Kent suffered a shock, mini-collapse in the lead up to the interval that saw them lose four wickets for 22 runs in the space of 28 balls.
Resuming on their overnight total of 152 without loss Key and Denly cruised past 200 inside 50 overs when Key pulled Alex Tudor for six over the ropes at long leg and after passing 212 the pair set a new record opening stand against Surrey beating the previous best held by Mark Benson (123) and Neil Taylor (88) set at Dartford in 1986.
Denly reached his third hundred of the season from 158 balls with two sixes and 12 fours, the last of which was a straight, lofted drive for four off Murtaza Hussain that took him into treble figures.
Key posted his first hundred of the summer from 154 balls and there were no signs of the nervous 90s as Key went to the ton with a six, four and two off successive balls from Hussain.
The pair looked odds on to bat until lunch but two run outs soon scuppered those hopes and sent Denly and Key packing, both for 123.
In the 63rd over of the innings from Hussain, Key dropped the ball leg-side and called Denly through for a single but, substitute fielder Laurie Evans, deputising for the injured Chris Schofield, raced in an threw to the striker“s end with Denly still short of his ground.
Kent suffered two further set-backs when, in successive overs from Pedro Collins, Geraint Jones and Darren Stevens both suffered second-ball ducks. Jones drove just outside off to a near yorker-length ball and edged behind while Stevens chased one a little wider to again nick to Jonathan Batty.
In the very next over Key“s mammoth 255-minute stay ended in the unluckiest way when, in backing up to a van Jaarsveld drive, he was run out when Hussain finger-tipped the ball onto the non-striker“s stumps.