Matthew Fleming won a vital toss on a flat, easy wicket, and just enough breeze ruffled the air to prohibit outrageous swing. But there were youngsters in a rejigged Essex side keen to impress. Ricky Anderson, a former Middlesex Colt who bowls on the brisk side of medium; the tall, quick David Thompson was on the books at Surrey and Lancashire; and the left-arm spinner Tim Phillips, in his first Championship game, was willing to give the ball an unflustered loop.
The Kent opener Robert Key has been told to curb his impetuousness, to build an innings through the day. So curbed was he at Worcester last month that he made a 64-minute duck, and yesterday he watched while Ed Smith scored Kent's first 25 runs. But it was Key who survived until, with a century for the taking, his bat followed a wide delivery from Thompson.
Matthew Walker attempted a cut to give Phillips his first Championship wicket, setting the stage for Symonds and Ealham. Just before tea, Symonds, on 30, was reprieved when Stuart Law at slip juggled a flash off Ashley Cowan, but the last session belonged to him.Reuse content