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Kent assistant coach Matt Walker lavishes praise on Rob Key after scoring first hundred since last year

Rob Key’s first championship hundred since May last year wasn’t lost on Kent assistant coach and former team-mate Matt Walker.

Key scored 113 – his 24th first-class hundred at Canterbury and 53rd of his career – on the opening day of the LV=County Championship clash with Division 2 leaders Lancashire on Tuesday.

It was the first time the former England batsman had reached three figures since scoring 126 against Surrey at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence and Walker was pleased for him.

Rob Key. Picture: Barry Goodwin.
Rob Key. Picture: Barry Goodwin.

He said: “Keysy lives for runs, so I know how tough it has been for him because he hasn’t been scoring as many as he would have liked.

“But what people don’t see is all the hard work he’s done behind the scenes and, believe me, he’s been putting it in.

“And you have to remember it’s not easy to find any fluency with a bat in your hands when you’re playing in just one format like he is.

“But he battled on and he’s looked close to getting a big score before this one but never quite got there – this time he did and I am so happy for him.

“It just goes to show the quality of the man and it adds to what he has already achieved in his career.

“Keysy will go down as one of the great Kent players, in my opinion.”

Kent scored 570-8 declared in their first innings against Lancashire on Wednesday with Sam Northeast top-scoring with 139 while all-rounder Darren Stevens made 92.

In reply, the visitors had reached 25-0 at stumps.

After this week’s game with Lancashire, Kent, who were second bottom ahead of it, play Glamorgan at Cardiff in the penultimate championship match of the season, starting Wednesday (September 9).

Walker is looking for something that has sadly been lacking in red-ball cricket throughout the season.

He said: “The bottom line is that we’ve lacked consistency and suffered as a result.

“If we can string together a couple of winning performances in the run-in, that will be a positive way to finish the season.”

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