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Key ton sets up Kent success

Highlights as Rob Key hit a century in Kent's win over Worcestershire in the YB40

 A quickfire century by Rob Key kept Kent Spitfires’ Yorkshire Bank 40 campaign alive as they overcame Worcestershire Royals by 39 runs at New Road.

The former county captain made 112 from 93 balls - his eighth hundred in one-day competitions - and shared in an opening partnership of 182 in 26 overs with Sam Northeast, who fell seven runs short of a ton of his own.

When 20-year-old Fabian Cowdrey hit a last-ball six to reach an unbeaten 52 on his List A debut, Kent had 289 for six on the board but in ideal batting conditions the home side were dismissed in the final over for 250.

Kent went on the rampage from the outset in their bid to move into second place behind Group A leaders Notts Outlaws.

Northeast made the first big statement by driving Jack Shantry over long-on for six and the innings was only in the seventh over when Key took the total past 50 with three boundaries off Gareth Andrew.

Key rarely needed to resort to strong-arm methods as he continued to find gaps in the field with unerring placement, but he did have an early let-off when Brett D'Oliviera dropped a difficult return chance.

The opening pair went on to complete their third three-figure stand in the competition this season in the 15th over and Northeast moved on to his fifty from 46 balls when pulling Daryl Mitchell for only his fourth four.

Key's hundred arrived with his 12th four and he added two more before Ross Whiteley ran 25 yards round the boundary from long-on to take a well-judged catch.

Worcestershire then began to pick up wickets, including Northeast when he cut a ball from Shantry to short third man, but Cowdrey - the third generation of his family to represent the county, after grandfather Colin and father and uncle Chris and Graham - treated the crowd to a glimpse of his considerable potential.

An effortless straight six off Moeen Ali would have been a shot to savour in any form of the game.

Worcestershire never looked like mounting a serious challenge after Moeen and Alexei Kervezee were caught on the midwicket boundary in the first five overs.

There was just a glimmer of hope as Mitchell went beyond 50 for the fourth time in nine innings in this season's group games, but wickets kept falling at regular intervals.

Mitchell (68) was leg-before attempting to sweep Adam Riley and the same bowler removed the last major threat when Andrew was caught at mid-on after hitting two sixes in his 43 from 34 balls.

However D'Oliveira (28) and Ben Cox (26) delayed the inevitable by putting on 54 in seven overs.

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