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Northeast leads from the front as Kent make flying start in Uxbridge

Tuesday 8th September 2009

Sam Northeast posted his third half-century of the campaign

Middlesex v Kent LV County Championship Division 2, Day one, Uxbridge.
By Mark Pennell
KENT“S first-wicket partners Sam Northeast and Rob Key cashed in on a docile pitch at Uxbridge by scoring a century opening stand on the first day of their LV County Championship clash.
Having won the toss and elected to bat Kent went in at lunch on 123 for one after 32 overs with Northeast unbeaten on 73 with Geraint Jones, having only come in 10 minutes before the break, still there on two not out.
Kent“s only casualty of the first session came after 28 overs when Key went for an excellent 46, having posted 116 in tandem with Northeast on a slow pitch that offered little or no assistance to the Middlesex seamers.
Key was only four short of a deserved 50 when he slightly mistimed a forceful drive against former Yorkshire seamer Chris Silverwood to offer a sharp, waist-high return chance that the bowler gleefully accepted for only his fifth wicket of the summer.
Key scored six fours in his 85-ball stay, but it was his rookie partner Northeast who caught the eye with his forceful strokeplay that led to his third half-century of the campaign from 56 balls and with nine fours.
The visitors cashed in against the new ball and were particularly hard on Steve Finn, who leaked runs at the rate of almost six an over as Kent went for their shots. But the introduction of the wily Silverwood and veteran skipper Shaun Udal pegged back the run rate to a more reasonable three-an-over.
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 ARPics