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April 20, 2013
Kent 406 (Jones 67, Naik 4-97) and 213 for 2 (Key 104*, Nash 62) drew with Leicestershire 495 (Boyce 135, Thakor 114)
Matthew Hoggard will go for a scan on his hip next week after he suffered an injury on the opening day of this Championship match against Kent. Although he came out to bat, albeit briefly, on the final day he only bowled five overs in a game that drifted to a draw.
If Hoggard is forced into a period on the sidelines it will be a blow to Leicestershire's already thin bowling resources and the home attack did not make much impression on the final day. However, it was a match where many bowlers prospered as 1,114 runs were scored for the loss of 22 wickets in the match.
Robert Key scored a century in was effectively an extended net session as Kent batted out the contest with ease after the home side were dismissed for 495 an hour before lunch on the last day. That gave Leicestershire a lead of 89 runs, but with so little time left in the match there was no way for either side to fashion a positive outcome, and they had to settle for nine points each.
But it did enable Kent's top order batsmen to gain some more valuable time in the middle in their first Championship game of the season, and when the teams shook hands on the draw, the visitors had reached 213 for 2.
Key made up for missing out on a half-century in the first innings by scoring an unbeaten 104 while Brendan Nash added 62 to his earlier 50, confirming just how good the pitch had been for batting throughout the four days.
Leicestershire, who were 452 for 7 overnight, decided to bat on, and added another 43 runs in just under an hour. Shiv Thakor, resuming on 105, was out for 114, skying a catch to deep midwicket off Mark Davies. A brisk unbeaten 24 by Ollie Freckingham accelerated the scoring rate and Hoggard was last man out for 4.
Key reached his 50 off 124 balls while sharing an opening partnership of 74 with Sam Northeast (32) and a second-wicket stand of 124 with Nash. Nash posted his 50 off 71 balls with six fours, before edging Jigar Naik to slip, but Key carried on and drove Michael Thornely for his 11th boundary to reach his century off 194 balls a few minutes before the teams shook hands on a draw.
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