Keogh battles through 'toughest start' to score crucial century for Northants

Rob Keogh admits he had to overcome the 'toughest start' he has had in an innings ahead of posting his 10th first-class century for Northants in the LV= Insurance County Championship draw with Kent.

Rob Keogh hit 124 for Northants in their draw with Kent
Rob Keogh hit 124 for Northants in their draw with Kent

Keogh hit a superb 124 to help steer Northants to a 15-point haul in their season opener in Group 3, but the 29-year-old admitted it was hard graft.

The County batsman went to the crease on Saturday afternoon and went on to bat for more than six hours as he helped his team get their 2021 campaign off to a solid start.

Keogh faced 280 balls and hit 12 boundaries as Northants replied to Kent's first innings of 455 with 433 all out, Ricardo Vasconcelos also hitting154 from 209 balls, before the visitors' second innings ended on 42 for one.

An excellent batting surface and several interruptions for the weather meant the draw was always the most likely result, but Keogh and Vasconcelos did have to steer the County out of troubled waters on Saturday when they were rocking a little at 135 for four.

And Keogh admitted; "It was probably the toughest start to an innings I’ve had.

"They bowled really well at me. I got a boundary away off maybe my 70th ball and it was just relief.

"You want to score boundaries and be free flowing but they kept it tight and made it hard for me."

The match was eventually called off as a draw after the tea interval on Sunday, with snow flurries hitting the County Ground.

"The only time I’ve ever come off for snow before was during pre-season games in March," admitted Keogh..

"It wasn’t the nicest conditions out there. Zak Crawley was hitting them quite hard to me at mid-on, so I was quite happy when (umpire) Rob Bailey said 'I think it is time to come off'."

With all three matches in Group 3 of the County Championship ending in draws, Northants sit in second place, one point behind Lancashire who claimed 16 points from their draw with Sussex, who secured 14.

Yorkshire are bottom after they claimed just 11 points from their Headingley draw with Glamorgan (14).

Northants are back in action this Thursday when they travel to Old Trafford to take on Lancashire.