At least there were a couple of decent Test prospects on show for the modest Kent crowd which braved the chill of a late spring day to watch the New Zealand tourists bend their backs in the opening First Class match of their tour of England.
With Kent having won the toss and electing to bat it meant that the spectators were able to get an early glimpse of Tim Southee, the Test prospect, who generated plenty of pace, as Kent captain Rob Key discovered late in the morning.
Key had moved steadily towards fifty when he opted to drive at a quick ball in Southee’s second spell and edged hard and head high to Peter Fulton at second slip.
The fielder could only palm the ball over his head and the batsman stole three runs to take his score to 46. A couple of minutes later Key pulled Southee to the mid-wicket boundary to bring up his half century with his sixth four.
Earlier on Key had lost his opening partner Joe Denly, when the 22-year-old’s loose square drive was brilliantly taken low down at backward point by James Marshall.
But with five of their key players, captain Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum, Jacob Oram, Ross Taylor and Kyle Mills, all earning a modest crust in the Indian Premier League, this is but a shadow of what New Zealand will be fielding for the first test at Lord’s which starts on 15 May.Reuse content