Key's best sees Kent romp home
Kent 250 for 2 (Key 144*) beat Netherlands 249 for 5 (Barresi 69, Cooper 54) by eight wickets
Rob Key led the way with a buccaneering 144 not out as Kent maintained their challenge in Group A of the Yorkshire Bank 40 by crushing Netherlands by eight wickets on the first day of the 101st Tunbridge Wells festival week.
Kent made short work of overhauling Netherlands' competitive 249 for 5, earning themselves an important victory 24 hours after they had thrown away the chance of beating Sussex at Horsham in a nervy run chase.
But there was no mistake this time as Key, with the support of Sam Northeast and Brendan Nash, made sure of Kent's fourth win in six matches.
Key dominated an opening stand of 115 with Northeast, who chopped on to slow left-arm spinner Pieter Seelaar for 35 in the 18th over, and was then joined by Nash in a further partnership worth 89 in 13 overs. Nash hit six fours in a 38-ball 57 and Kent had already gone past 200 in the 30th over when he skied a catch to deep mid-on off Michael Swart's darting offspin.
But Key stayed to the end, clubbing Malik Jamil for six wide of long-on and also including 19 fours in a 121-ball effort that was his highest List A score and the seventh one-day hundred of his career.
The Dutch batted well after captain Peter Borren had won the toss on a sunny but breezy day at the Nevill Ground. A home crowd of more than 2,000 watched with increasing anxiety as Netherlands steadily accelerated their scoring rate, reaching 150 only in the 28th over and then taking the attack to the Kent bowlers.
Wesley Barresi and Tom Cooper both hit assured fifties in a third wicket stand of 95 in 19 overs and, when they were out, Dom Michael struck three sixes and four fours in a 40-ball 51 not out and was joined by Daan van Bunge and Borren in a burst of productive late hitting that exposed Kent's lack of experienced death bowlers.
Netherlands' innings had begun badly, with Swart under-edging an intended pull against Matt Coles into his stumps and Stephan Myburgh falling lbw to Calum Haggett, who had replaced the injured Mark Davies in the Kent line-up.
Barresi and Cooper then rebuilt the innings, reaching half-centuries from 59 and 58 balls respectively, before Barresi was bowled by a ball from offspinner Adam Riley that kept low. He made 69 from 83 balls, with nine fours, and Cooper soon followed for 54, caught by keeper Geraint Jones from a James Tredwell arm ball.
A brilliant sprawling catch by Adam Ball, running around from short third man to take a swirling top edge off a short ball from Coles, ended Van Bunge's bright 28, but Michael and Borren plundered 51 from the last 4.2 overs of the innings to set Kent a challenging target but one to which Key was more than equal.
Netherlands now have three defeats and two no results in their five YB40 matches this season.