Stevens stars as Surrey slump
Kent 266 and 230 beat Surrey 127 and 104 by 265 runs
Darren Stevens took career-best match figures of 11 for 70 as a Kent side, inspired by a backs-to-the-wall, unbeaten century by their captain Rob Key, swept aside Surrey in three days to win their Division Two clash by 265 runs. Facing a mammoth target of 370 for victory, Surrey capitulated inside two hours for a paltry 104 - their worst championship total in a decade - to lose with almost four sessions of the game remaining.
Surrey's demise started as early as the third ball of their second innings when Stevens, Kent's first-innings hero with career-best figures of 7 for 21 - trimmed the off stump of left-hander Steve Davies with a sublime away-swinger.
In poor light Mark Ramprakash shuffled hesitantly forward to a full ball from Matt Coles that plucked out the off stump to spark a dramatic collapse that saw the visitors lose their last nine wickets for 78 runs.
Zander de Bruyn became one of eight Surrey batsmen to record a duck in the match when he edged behind off Stevens, who then had Surrey top-scorer Rory Hamilton-Brown (40) caught at third slip at the third attempt by counterpart Rob Key. That gave Stevens his first ever 10-wicket match haul.
Jason Roy miscued to mid-off against the same bowler leaving James Tredwell to run through the tail on a crumbling surface with a season's best haul of 5 for 35.
Earlier, Kent batted for the first 24 overs of day three in adding 63 to an already impressive 300-plus lead. Key carried his bat for the first time in four years to score a stoic, unbeaten 110 from 202 balls - his 20th century for Kent at the St Lawrence ground.
Backed up by the tailenders and last man Simon Cook in particular, Key's century included only five fours and came off 192 balls. The former England right-hander went 33 overs without posting a boundary yet his innings, coupled with the bowling of Stevens, ensured that Kent secured their fourth win of the campaign to bank 21 points to Surrey's three.
The only bright moment of a dire game for Surrey came when their doughty right-arm seam-bowler Tim Linley dismissed Kent tailender Adam Ball to secure his 50th championship scalp of the summer. Otherwise, these were three days Surrey will quickly want to forget.
Key was the only player of the game to pass 50 as Kent took big strides in staving off the championship wooden spoon while also leaving Surrey's promotion hopes in tatters.