Kent steady thanks to Key
Kent 200 for 1 (Key 105*, Bell-Drummond 74*) trail Hampshire 405 for 9 dec (Carberry 154, Dawson 75, Ervine 72) by 205 runs
Rob Key's century saw Kent make a fluent reply to Hampshire's first innings 405 for 9 declared on day two of a Championship run-spree in Canterbury. Having chased leather for more than four sessions, Kent made a game reply to finish day two on 200 for 1 - a first innings deficit of 205 - and with Key unbeaten on 105.
The former England batsman lost opening partner Sam Northeast with only 37 on the board, but then teamed up with England Under-19 starlet Daniel Bell-Drummond to add an unbroken 163 for the second wicket through to the close.
Key, who won the last of his 15 Test caps in 2005, batted faultlessly to reach his century from 142 balls and with a dozen boundaries. Already the highest ever Championship run-scorer at Canterbury in Kent's history, this was Key's 22nd hundred on the ground - 21 of which have been for the county. It was also the 34-year-old's 44th ton for the club.
At the other end, rookie Bell-Drummond, in only his 11th Championship start, made a sticky start and looked troubled by the pace of James Tomlinson. But, after surviving the left-arm paceman's new ball burst, Bell-Drummond relaxed into his work to reach a 103-ball half-century.
The teenage prodigy from Millfield School moved to the landmark by dancing down the pitch to on-drive one from Danny Briggs to the ropes at long-on having already hit the left-arm spinner for six into the Frank Woolley stand. By stumps, Bell-Drummond had reached a Championship-best 74 as he and Key took Kent to their first batting bonus point of the match.
At the start of the day, Hampshire elected to extend their first innings beyond lunch before finally declaring nine wickets down and some 30 minutes into the mid-session.
After his stoic, opening day century, former Kent batsman Michael Carberry moved effortlessly to 150 from 291 balls before chasing a wide one from Calum Haggett to be caught behind for 154 and end a fourth-wicket partnership with Sean Ervine that added 99 inside 29 overs. Haggett took his tally to three for 100 by trapping Adam Wheater leg-before, then Darren Stevens pinned Adam Rouse lbw for 9 to bring a quick end to his maiden innings in first-class cricket.
After lunch, Kent captain James Tredwell took his first wickets of the Championship campaign on Kentish soil to finish with respectable figures of 3 for 83 from 27.2 overs. The offspinner had Ervine stumped for 72, Sohail Tanvir caught at slip then Danny Briggs caught at long-on to spark the Hampshire declaration.