Key ensures Kent stalemate

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Rob Key

Rob Key struck an unbeaten half-century to ensure Kent did not suffer a collapse against Derbyshire on the final day of their clash

Rob Key’s unbeaten half-century helped Kent bat out for a forgettable LV= County Championship draw in their rain-affected Division Two clash with Derbyshire at Canterbury.

Bottom side Kent banked nine points to the visitors’ 11 after Derbyshire opted to extend their overall lead to 364 before declaring on 256 for four soon after lunch.

Having been set an impossible last-afternoon winning target of 365 from a minimum 58 overs – an asking rate of 6.29 an over – Kent reached 94 for two among the rain breaks before shaking hands on a draw at 5pm.

Home skipper Key anchored the innings with 59 not out from 78 balls, his second-best score of the campaign to date, while Martin van Jaarsveld finished on an unbeaten 12.

The home reply started badly when Joe Denly, back in the side following a three-week lay-off with a fractured thumb, followed his first innings of five with a fifth-ball duck in the second. The right-hander had his middle stump uprooted by a Tim Groenewald off-cutter that darted through the gate.

After another break for rain that led to an early tea interval, Kent regrouped through Key and Sam Northeast to add 61 for their second wicket before the latter, in aiming to leg-glance against Tony Palladino, edged through to the wicketkeeper to fall for 21.

The last day started with Derbyshire’s first-innings centurions Wayne Madsen and Usman Khawaja back in tandem as their side resumed on their overnight score of 85 for one.

Khawaja, who will fly home to Australia tonight for his country’s A-team tour of Zimbabwe, reached 36 before he became his side’s first casualty when edging a defensive push against Azhar Mahmood to the wicketkeeper.

Madsen, fresh from scoring 140 here during the opening two days, reached 71 from 111 balls before failing to get on top of a cut shot at Neil Saker and picking out Northeast at point.

Dan Redfern and Wes Durston then featured in a fourth-wicket stand of 93 in 21.1 overs, each ultimately scoring a fifty from 61 and 88 balls respectively.

Redfern went soon after lunch after the left-hander skied a leg-side slog against James Tredwell to make it 236 for four. Luke Sutton’s declaration followed 30 runs on and just after Durston had reached his half-century.

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