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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 April, 2005, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Key makes valuable ton for Kent
County Championship D1, Bristol, day two (stumps):
Kent 339-6 v Gloucestershire

Robert Key
Key's 100 came off 249 balls and included 12 fours in all

Robert Key hit a century, watched in part by England coach Duncan Fletcher at Bristol to stake his claim for the number three spot in the England side.

After a slow start to the season, Key converted his overnight 26 to reach an impressive 164 in Kent's 339-6 against Division One rivals Gloucestershire.

He put on 242 with Matt Walker (109) to give Kent a good platform on day two of this County Championship match.

But Key had been dropped at the start of the day before adding to his score.

Fletcher would have seen Key loop an intended cut shot to point off the last ball of Jon Lewis' first over of the day.

But the batsman escaped an early trudge off the field when Upul Chandana spilled the chance away to his left.

Chandana, the Sri Lankan leg-spinner, went on to struggle with the ball, with figures of 0-76 off 25 overs.

Key's 100, which involved a stay at the crease for more than five-and-a-half hours, came off 249 balls and featured 12 boundaries.

The Gloucestershire attack got very little out of a slow pitch, albeit under heavy cloud cover.

Key and Walker, who had come together at 18-2 in the 11th over on Wednesday night, rarely reached the boundary on a soggy outfield early on.

But scoring chances gradually became easier through the course of the day.

Afterwards, Key said: "Whenever you play or are looking to play for England it is so important to feel in decent nick and have a few runs behind you.

"If you are feeling at all out of touch - as I did when I batted last week - it makes it really hard."


SEE ALSO
Lewis forces Kent into shell
27 Apr 05 |  Counties


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