Kent batsmen re-write the history books during Oval run-spree

Saturday 11th July 2009

Martin van Jaarsveld hit his third successive hundred at The Brit Oval

Surrey v Kent LV County Championship Division 2, The Brit Oval.
Day Three.
By Mark Pennell
KENT scored four hundreds in the same championship innings for only the second time in a century at The Brit Oval on Sunday where tons by Martin van Jaarsveld, Justin Kemp, Rob Key and Joe Denly put the visitors in a commanding position over Surrey.
Kent reached the close on 509 for five and a lead of 123 and may well now opt to declare on their overnight score and attempt to bowl out Surrey cheaply in order to force a last day win.
Apart from a 28-ball, pre-lunch glitch during which Kent lost four wickets for 22 runs, the day belonged exclusively to Kent and their four centurions.
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 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.
The next two sessions belonged to Kemp and van Jaarsveld who both reached personal milestones in a fifth wicket stand worth 214 in 56 overs.
Van Jaarsveld posted his third successive hundred on this ground from 157 balls and with 15 fours, making him only the third player in history to score a hat-trick of hundreds here in successive innings.
Kemp then posted his first hundred of the summer from the same amount of deliveries and also with 15 fours making Kent the first side to ever post four hundreds in the same championship innings against Surrey – Kent last achieved the feat in 1908 at Taunton against Somerset.
Neither player offered a chance as they saw off the second 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.
Despite interruptions for lunch, tea and bad light the pairing continued to churn out the runs until just after 6pm, and in time added on for stoppages, van Jaarsveld went leg before for 110 from 185-balls when trying to on-drive against Tudor
Kemp (121*) and James Tredwell (16) piled on the agony until stumps, leaving Surrey to face a backs-to-the-wall batting effort on Monday in order to save the game.