Key leads Kent fight back after Harmison’s double strike

Sunday 16th May 2010

Kent skipper Rob Key counter attacked with an unbeaten 81 from 88 balls

Kent v Durham LV= County Championship Division 1, Day One at Canterbury.
By Mark Pennell
An unbroken third-wicket stand worth 110 runs inside 24 overs between Rob Key (81*) and Martin van Jaarsveld (26*) helped Kent recover from a sticky start to the opening day of their LV= County Championship clash with fellow strugglers Durham.
Kent went in at lunch after rain ended the opening session 10 minutes ahead of schedule sitting pretty on 120 for two having made a disappointing start after electing to bat first.
The hosts were 10 for two after four overs following an opening burst of two for five by England pace bowler Steven Harmison. Bowling from the Pavilion End, Harmison shaped his sixth ball of the day away from Joe Denly (0) who tried to withdraw the bat at the last moment only to nick behind to wicketkeeper and new Durham skipper Phil Mustard to make it 0 for one.
In Harmison“s next over Geraint Jones, having clipped a brace of threes through the leg side to move to nine, fenced at a lifting ball from Harmison that might well have been left alone only to steer to Michael Di Venuto at second slip.
Harmison gave way after a stint of 6-3-13-2 to be replaced by Mitchell Claydon then his brother, Ben, but neither could extract as much assistance from the pitch and Kent“s third-wicket partners continued to score at a healthy rate.
Left-arm spinner Ian Blackwell came on for the 20th over of the match but Key immediately targeted the former Somerset man, taking nine from his first over including a sweep for four and a lofted off drive over the bowler“s head.
Key moved to his 50 inside 87 minutes with a guided four to third man off Ben Harmison for the 10th boundary of his positive 61-ball stay while Mustard, in a bid to stem the flow of runs, turned to seven bowlers but still the hosts cantered on until rain brought an abrupt halt and an early lunch.