Darren Stevens haul hands Kent big lead over Surrey

LV County Championship Division Two, Canterbury
Close day two: Kent 266 & 167-6, Surrey 127
Kent 5pts, Surrey 3pts
Match scorecard
Live commentary
LV County Championship

Darren Stevens took a career-best 7-21 as Kent ended day two at Canterbury with a 306-run lead over Surrey.

Surrey resumed on 50-0 but Stevens soon removed Steve Davies before ripping through the visitors' batting line-up as they were bowled out for 127.

That gave Kent a sizeable first-innings lead of 139.

Tim Linley (3-33) led the Surrey fightback with the ball but Kent captain Robert Key stood firm to finish 70 not out, with his side 167-6.

CLOSE OF PLAY SUMMARY

BBC Radio Kent's Ben Croucher:

"Surrey failed to make the most of the best batting conditions of the day, losing five wickets in the first hour and failing to make hay when the sun shone.

"Darren Stevens persisted on a deliberate line in the corridor of uncertainty outside off stump, consistently bowling just back of a length. His seven wickets were all his doing.

"The rain delays helped disrupt Surrey who simply had no answer on a pitch that offered variable bounce and reward for the bowlers.

"Kent proved they were human though, with Stevens and Matt Coles dropping regulation catches. Then Rob Key led by example with the bat, playing a true captain's innings.

"The only frustration for a delighted home crowd was the curious decision by the umpires to take the players off twice when conditions seemed perfectly playable."

BBC London 94.9's Mark Church:

"Surrey's hard work on the opening day was completely undone by an inspired spell of bowling from Darren Stevens. Career-best figures of 7-21 from Stevens saw Surrey bowled out for just 127 having started the day 50-0.

"It meant Kent had a lead of 139 and despite three wickets from Tim Linley, Kent closed with that lead already standing at a very healthy 306 and captain Rob Key unbeaten on 70.

"A complete turnaround in the game and it is the home side who now hold all the cards."