Published: 00:00, 18 May 2016
| Updated: 10:22, 18 May 2016
Joe Denly says he rates his maiden double-century against Northamptonshire this week as one of the top three knocks of his career.
The 30-year-old arrived at the crease after just a handful of overs with Kent at 15-1 following the run out of Tom Latham and was still there, unbeaten on 206, when last man Imran Qayyum was dismissed with the Kent first innings total on 396.
Denly batted in total for more than seven hours, facing 315 deliveries from which he hit 25 fours and two sixes. It was his 18th First-Class century – his third since returning to Kent from Middlesex – and eclipsed his previous career-best of 199 against Derbyshire, in 2011.
On that occasion, at Derby, Denly was caught trying to run Mark Footitt down to third man but he decided attack was the best form of defence at Wantage Road going from 177 to 192 by taking 15 off one Azharullah over.
Seven more came from the next, bowled by Rob Keogh and he then went to 200 with a boundary through the covers off Rory Kleinveldt.
Denly, who had resumed day two on 126 not out, was pleased to have finally got past the 200 mark. He said: “I’m delighted to have got across the line this time having been so close once before.
“I felt pretty good and had a feeling that it was on. It was a pretty flat wicket and good to bat on once you got in.
“It was not offering much in terms of seam movement, if anything it kept a bit low so I just played my natural game and once I’d got a few drives away, I settled pretty quickly.
“The plan on the second morning was firstly to try and to get 350, so to get us up to around 400 and to personally get the double hundred was fantastic.
He said: “It was disappointing not to get it when I was last on that score but I felt pretty good today and was delighted when the ball went through the covers for four.”
Denly said the knocks against Derby and Northants were two of his best knocks, along with an innings of 217 in an England Lions practice game against Nashua Titans Invitational XI in Pretoria, in 2009.