Despite a spell out of the England side, after making his Test debut in 2002 against India, Key bounced back by scoring over 1,000 first-class runs in the 2004 county season, earning a recall for the Test series against West Indies.
In his first international red-ball appearance in over a year, the stocky batsman produced an innings which showcased the type of shot selection cricket purists would admire during the first Test at Lord’s.
Key came to the crease after the early loss of Marcus Trescothick and although the right-hander was given a reprieve on 16, he alongside Andrew Strauss, went on to produce a second-wicket partnership of 291, a stand that beat England’s previous best against the Windies.
Strauss would depart before day one’s close but Key went on to crack a stylish 167 not out – his first and only Test ton. Day two showcased more of the same as he powered on to reach his double-century from his 29th boundary.
“Keysy” finally fell on 221 – the sixth best score by an Englishman against West Indies, hitting 31 fours in his knock as he walked off to a standing ovation at the home of cricket.
England would go on to win the first Test by 210 runs but Key’s innings will always be remembered in the history books.
— Kent Cricket (@kentcricket) April 19, 2016