Key ton edges Kent towards semis
Kent 226 for 5 (Key 101) beat Yorkshire 196 (Gale 57, Coles 3-25, Tredwell 3-31) by 30 runs
Kent captain Rob Key scored his first one-day hundred in four years to help secure a 30-run win over Yorkshire at Canterbury that took the hosts to the top of Clydesdale Bank Group C.
Key anchored his side's innings with a battling century from 107 balls as Spitfires posted a challenging total of 226 for 5 after losing the toss. The former England batsman featured in an opening stand worth 41 that ended when Sam Billings lifted his back foot allowing Dan Hodgson to pull off a sharp stumping stood up to the wicket.
Sam Northeast then starred in an attractive second-wicket stand with Key that added 70 in 13.2 overs until, with the home score on 111, Northeast drove on the up to Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale at short extra-cover.
Key moved smoothly to a 65-ball 50 with four fours and a six - his first in the competition this summer - and then joined forces with Darren Stevens, currently lying second in the CB40 MVP rankings to Somerset's Peter Trego. The third-wicket partners added 71 in 13.2 overs with Key moving smoothly to a hundred with six fours and a brace of sixes.
Two balls later, however, the right-hander clipped a full- toss from Moin Ashraf into the hands of AdiI Rashid as square leg and left to a standing ovation with 101 to his name. It was Key's highest one-day score this season and his first limited overs century since his career-best 120 not out scored against Essex at Canterbury four years ago.
Five balls later Alex Blake, in making room to drive, was yorked by Ashraf for only a single, but Stevens and Brendan Nash batted sensibly thereafter to raise the Spitfires 200 in the 37th over. Richard Pyrah took a stunning reflex, one-handed catch off his own bowling to account for Stevens for 43 as Yorkshire's attack made a good fist of sending down the last five overs. Ashraf took two for 36 and Pyrah two for 55 for the visitors.
Yorkshire made a quickfire start to their reply through Andrew Gale and Phil Jaques who posted 50 inside six overs but, with his score on 26, Jaques was sent back after setting off for a risky single to backward point to be run out by a throw from Nash. Joe Root edged into double figures before he chased a wide awayswinger from Mark Davies and drove into the hands of short extra cover.
Gale and Adam Lyth added 50 for the third wicket until Lyth, in trying to repeat an earlier six, slog swept into the deep against James Tredwell to be caught by Billings. In the same over Rashid fell leg before to the England offspinner and departed without scoring. Gale moved to a 75-ball 50 with six fours but, 13 balls on, he danced down the pitch to Tredwell only to york himself and gift Jones a comfortable stumping.
To the next ball, from Stevens, Gary Ballance attempted to steer one to third man only to edge to wicketkeeper Jones and, with 67 required from 59 balls, the asking rate proved too much for Yorkshire's tailenders who succumbed for 196 to lose with 10 balls to spare.