COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE, Canterbury: CLOSE OF PLAY, DAY ONE: Kent 360-6 Kent 4pts, Essex 2pts Match scorecard
Geraint Jones hits through the off side during his 99 at Canterbury
Martin van Jaarsveld hit a century as Kent's batsmen gave the Division One strugglers control over injury-hit Essex on day one at Canterbury.
Van Jaarsveld hit 14 fours and a six in his 106 and shared a fifth-wicket stand of 176 with Geraint Jones.
Jones (99) was denied a century of his own when he fell Bryce McGain (4-120), as Kent closed on 360-6.
A side strain limited Maurice Chambers to just eight overs, with Ravi Bopara not bowling because of a back injury.
These only serve to deepen Essex's injury problems, with all-rounders Graham Napier and Ryan ten Doeschate both already on the sidelines.
Batting first after the winning the toss, Kent captain Rob Key - playing his first game after three weeks out with a fractured finger - fell to Chambers in the eighth over before Joe Denly (40) and Sam Northeast (25) added 56 for the second wicket.
Northeast was caught at long off just before lunch to become Australian leg-spinner McGain's first victim in an Essex shirt, with Denly edging behind just after the break to bring Van Jaarsveld and Jones together.
They were together for 41 overs, in which time Van Jaarsveld moved to his first Championship century of the summer before he was caught at mid-off driving at McGain.
Jones looked set for a hundred of his own but chipped McGain to mid-wicket, with Darren Stevens (34) edging David Masters to second slip to also fall before the close.
Kent captain Rob Key told BBC Radio Kent: "We played some good cricket and some pretty average cricket. We'll take the score, but we threw some wickets away so we could have been a lot better off.
"Jarre (Martin van Jaarsveld) played brilliantly, to get 50 first class hundreds is a serious effort in this day and age.
"It's brilliant for him but I'm sure he's disappointed that he didn't go on, and gave his wicket away at the end. The same with Geraint Jones a little bit, making 99 and then getting out.
"I'm really pleased in some regard but it's probably about a par score on that wicket, we should be looking to make around 500 having won the toss."
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