Smith and Key put Kent in command

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The Independent Online

Kent Established an imposing lead against Middlesex at Canterbury thanks to centuries from Ed Smith and Robert Key. Resuming this morning on 163 for 1, the pair added another 110 runs - and 255 in total.

Kent Established an imposing lead against Middlesex at Canterbury thanks to centuries from Ed Smith and Robert Key. Resuming this morning on 163 for 1, the pair added another 110 runs - and 255 in total.

Smith was nearly run out on 98 going for a sharp single. He just beat a direct hit to the stumps at the striker's end from Jamie Dalrymple before going on to his fourth Championship hundred of the summer.

Key took a heavy toll on the slow bowlers, hitting four sixes in his innings of 131 along with 14 boundaries. Finally the off spinner Paul Weekes had him caught by Melvyn Betts at square leg from a sweep shot. Key's 131 came off just 157 balls.

Smith then enjoyed a stand of 155 with the left-hander Matthew Walker before he fell lbw to Betts as he stepped across his stumps in attempting a forceful drive. Smith's 189 was his highest score of the season, coming off 257 balls with 23 boundaries.

Walker, who had been voted Kent's player of the year by the members, then kept Middlesex under pressure with 86 not out, and the home side had reached 473 for 6 at stumps, giving them a lead of 238.

Mike Yardy struck a century for Sussex against Surrey but he received little support as his side struggled at Hove, losing their last six wickets for 61 runs. They were bowled out for 271, 12 runs behind.

But the visitors lost two early wickets before the close, with Jason Lewry dismissing the openers Scott Newman and Richard Clinton to reduce Surrey to 72 for 2.

Rain prevented play between the champions, Warwickshire, and Northamptonshire.

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