Arafat returns to haunt Kent

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Joe Denly

Joe Denly's 49 was the highest contribition to a Kent scorecard that featured nine double-figure scores. They faltered after a bright start

Surrey seamer Yasir Arafat returned to his old stomping ground to help dismiss Kent for 266 on the opening day of the 160th Canterbury festival week.

The Pakistani claimed 3-62 from 22 overs to assist Surrey’s LV= County Championship promotion push, while limiting Kent to just two batting bonus points a first innings spanning 82 overs.

Batting first in seemingly ideal conditions, Kent reached 80 without loss thanks to Joe Denly and Robert Key.

The pair looked untroubled for the best part of 20 overs until captain Key, on the drive, edged to Mark Ramprakash at fourth slip to fall for 35.

Denly, having proffered a half-chance to third slip on 14, had made 49 when he was leg before pushing forward to a Tim Linley shortly before lunch.

Sam Northeast’s disappointing season continued when he was lbw to Zander de Bruyn for 20, Martin van Jaarsveld perished in similar fashion playing across the line to Jade Dernbach, and Geraint Jones, ambition getting the better of him, had his off stump plucked out by Arafat

Darren Stevens, having made a crisp and watchful 31, hit his third four over extra-cover off slow left-armer Zafar Ansari, only to perish next ball.

Aiming an apologetic cut at a ball too close to his body, Stevens edged to wicketkeeper Davies and sloped off leaving Kent in deep trouble at 184 for six.

Kent limped to their first batting bonus point with six wickets down, but one run later James Tredwell was leg before to Arafat and soon after Adam Ball wafted outside off stump to be caught behind again off the same bowler.

Tailenders Matt Coles and Wahab Riaz hit out lustily to add 16 and 34 respectively before Gareth Batty’s off-spin did for Coles and Riaz played across the line at Linley.

With 12 overs of the day to bat, Surrey put the excellent batting conditions into perspective with a trouble-free unbroken stand between Rory Hamilton-Brown and Davies that took them to stumps on 50 without loss.

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