Rob Key passed 18,000 runs in first-class cricket with a magnificent century as his 197-run partnership with Brendan Nash put Kent firmly in control against Surrey at Canterbury. The former England batsman struck 126 on day two of the LV= County Championship Division Two match as Kent closed on 355 for four – a lead of 70.
Nash matched his captain's score before becoming the first of the duo to go, the pair having taken their side's total from 131 for 328 with their third-wicket stand.
It was a first hundred of the season for both players, whose combination took the match away from the visitors.
Surrey managed to add just nine more runs to their overnight total of 276 for eight before Stuart Meaker (19) and Jade Dernbach (one) were sent packing. And they were immediately up against it in the field.
Key and Sam Northeast put on 101 for the first wicket before the latter was caught by Aneesh Kapil off Meaker for 53. Daniel Bell-Drummond only managed 11 before being bowled by Matt Dunn, but Nash joined Key and took the attack to Surrey. Key swept past the 18,000-run landmark before bringing up his ton with a glorious straight drive. It was his eighth County Championship hundred against Surrey.
Nash was scoring at a faster rate, spending just less than half as long at the crease as his skipper. He hammered 19 fours and a six in his brilliant innings before Zafar Ansari finally brought the partnership to an end, Rory Burns with the catch. Key's 206-ball innings, which included 14 fours, came to an end when he chipped a Meaker delivery into the offside and was caught by Dominic Sibley.
Ben Harmison and Darren Stevens were unbeaten on 19 and two respectively at the close.