LV= County Championship: Kent batsmen hold up Northamptonshire
Promotion-chasing Northamptonshire were made to toil in the field as Kent duo Rob Key and Brendan Nash struck centuries.
Last Updated: 19/09/13 6:09pm
West Indies international Nash top-scored with 107 off 152 balls as the visitors were eventually bowled out for 418.
It was also a landmark day for former England batsman Key, who made his 50th ton in first-class cricket with 101 from 148 deliveries and for James Middlebrook, who took career-best figures of 6-78.
After persistent rain cut the first day short, Kent began on 60-1 with Key resuming on 17 and Daniel Bell-Drummond on seven.
Bell-Drummond, however, was to add just four to his overnight total before his thick edge off Muhammad Azharullah went to Middlebrook at third slip.
But Key was to reach 50 off 101 balls as he and Nash piled on 134 between them for the third wicket.
Both batsmen were to go past 1,000 runs in the County Championship this season during this stand with Nash racing to a half-century off just 69 deliveries.
Key completed his century off 148 balls in the second over of the afternoon by smashing a six over mid-on off Middlebrook, but he fell with the very next delivery when he nudged to same bowler to Andrew Hall at slip.
Ben Harmison then was stumped on 28 by Northants wicketkeeper David Murphy off Middlebrook, before Nash completed his 17th first-class century and his fifth of the season off 140 deliveries.
Darren Stevens then became the third Kent batsman of the day to surpass 1,000 Championship runs in the campaign before Nash finally perished when he was trapped lbw by Middlebrook.
Northants took the second new ball straight after tea and at the start of its fourth over, Kent wicketkeeper Sam Billings (eight) was pinned lbw by Hall.
Stevens was then very fortunate to bring up his half-century off 74 balls when he launched Hall high into the air only to be dropped by Lee Daggett at mid-off while running the single that took him to 50.
Daggett made amends when Stevens tamely chipped the Northants seamer to Azharullah at midwicket to depart for 63.
Kent captain James Tredwell (10) was then taken by David Sales at extra cover off Middlebrook, who completed the 12th five-wicket haul of his career as he dismissed Mark Davies (nine) and Adam Ball (32) late on.