Centurion Keogh knows Northants still have work to do at Kent

Rob KeoghRob Keogh
Rob Keogh
Ton-up hero Rob Keogh admits Northants still have work to do - but was delighted to have given his team at least a chance of grabbing the unlikeliest of wins at Kent.

After being bowled out for 117 in their first innings in the LV= Insurance Championship Division One clash, the County started their second dig 105 runs behind.

And when they slumped to 178 for six, a lead of just 73, things looked bleak.

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But Keogh hit a brilliant 101 not out and was given superb support by Gareth Berg (49no) as Northants closed day three on 300 for seven, a lead of 195.

“For me it was question of batting time (rather than runs),” said Keogh.

“It wasn’t until we got about a 150 lead that I thought if we can get this up to 220, 230 there’s a little bit there for us to work with.

“Obviously we’re still a little bit behind the game now, but there’s still a little bit in this pitch.

“Every now and again one zips through.

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“I actually thought we bowled really well that first hour with the new ball, we just didn’t find the edge. They played and missed and we nicked them in the first innings.

“Sam Billings (Kent captain) was letting me know in the morning that there might be an Easter weekend in Kent, so I was very determined to get through.

“We know we’ve got to bat and bat long and sometimes it can be nice as a batter when there’s no real pressure other than occupying the crease as possible.”

Keogh’s century was his 15th in first-class cricket for Northants, bringing him level in the club’s all-time list with the great David Capel, who sadly passed away in 2020.

“I owe a lot to Capes,” said Keogh.

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“He gave me my debut in T20 and List A cricket and showed faith in me as a young tearaway kid from Dunstable who was up to no good.

“To sit level with a club legend and a guy who’s represented his country is obviously very special.”

Keogh also had words of praise for batting partner Berg.

Asked if there is better No.9 in the country, the Northants man said: “He actually said that he doesn’t think there’s a better No.9 in world cricket to me, in the middle, when he’d crunched one for four.

“I do enjoy batting with Bergy actually.

“He’s fun to bat with and he’s got a lovely technique for a bowler and I guess we should call him an all-rounder.

“He’s come out there again when the situation was tough for us, we were right up against it and he showed some real fight there.”