Kent lose two more in the mid-session but van Jaarsveld marches on

Tuesday 8th September 2009

Martin van Jaarsveld scored a 90-ball half-century with six fours

Middlesex v Kent LV County Championship Division 2, Day one, Uxbridge.
By Mark Pennell
KENT posted their first batting bonus point just before tea in Uxbridge where the visitors suffered two mid-session set-backs to go into the interval on 235 for three on day one of their top-versus-bottom clash with Middlesex.
Vice-captain and top-scorer Martin van Jaarsveld was still there and making the most of a benign pitch with 51 not out, while Darren Stevens kept him company with 28 not having taken 38 minutes to get off the mark.
For the second time this season Sam Northeast reached the 80s only to miss out on a maiden championship ton. After two-and-a-half hours at the crease Northeast (84) attempted to run a shooting off-cutter from Tim Murtagh down to third man only to edge through to the keeper John Simpson.
Then, 11 runs on, in-form Geraint Jones (20) shouldered arms at another off-cutter from Murtagh that cut in off the seam to peg back the right-hander“s off stump and make it 156 for three.
Stevens and van Jaarsveld dug in thereafter to make it through to tea without further alarm as the Middlesex attack generally tightened up their lines and lengths on a pitch that offered them little assistance. Murtagh was the pick during a spell of two for 20 in seven overs.
Occasional leg-spinner Dawid Malan then sent down a couple of loose deliveries to ease the pressure on Kent“s batsmen and van Jaarsveld cashed in by hitting two more boundaries off successive deliveries to move to a 90-ball half century.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Kent went in at lunch on 123 for one having lost their captain Rob Key for an excellent 46 to bring an end to an attractive opening stand of 116 in 28 overs in tandem with Sam Northeast.
Though he passed 1,000 first-class runs for the season during his stay Key was still four short of a deserved 50 when his slightly mistimed drive offered a waist-high return catch to former Yorkshire seamer Chris Silverwood who gleefully accepted the chance for only his fifth wicket of the summer.
At the start of the day skipper Key made two changes to the side that drew with Derbyshire last week, rookies Phil Edwards and Alex Blake were both rested and replaced by Rob Ferley and Azhar Mahmood.
Kent team: S. A. Northeast, R. W. T. Key*, G. O. Jones†, M. van Jaarsveld, D. I. Stevens, J. M. Kemp, Azhar Mahmood, J. C. Tredwell, S. J. Cook, R. S. Ferley, A. Khan
Photo by AR Pics