Surrey v Kent: Sam Northeast helps Kent build solid first innings

Sam Northeast
Northeast narrowly missed out on an eighth first-class century
LV= County Championship Division Two, Guildford
Close, day one: Kent 351-7 v Surrey
Surrey 2pts; Kent 4pts
Match scorecard

Half-centuries from both Sam Northeast and Sam Billings helped Kent take charge on day one against hosts Surrey.

Having lost the toss, Kent started well but Ben Harmison (48) was denied a half-century by Matt Dunn.

Northeast (91) and Darren Stevens (34) added a further 63 runs for the fourth wicket, with the visitors 236-4 at tea, before Jason Roy trapped Northeast lbw.

At the close, Kent had reached 351-7, with Billings and Mitchell Claydon set to resume on 57 and six respectively.

In the first ball of the match, opener Rob Key was struck in the groin and he initially retired hurt with two runs from 17 balls.

He later returned to the crease but could only add another five runs to his total.

Fifth-placed Kent are bidding for what would be their fourth win of the season in Division Two.

BBC Radio Kent's Peter Guise

"This was just what the head coach ordered. A succession of 50+ partnerships, five of them, with contributions all through the batting order. Sam Northeast came within nine runs of successive centuries as Sam Billings also found his form with the bat.

"Kent stuck at it, were patient through the difficult phases and struck when the opportunity arose. A vital opening day in a match vital to Kent's aspirations."