Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Stevens, 45, hits stunning 190 in County Championship

Darren Stevens. (Credits: Twitter)

LONDON – Veteran all-rounder Darren Stevens struck a blistering 190 in a County Championship game which included 15 sixes and saw him make 165 in a 166-run ninth-wicket stand.

The 45-year-old s heroics revived Kent s fortunes on the second day of their match against Glamorgan at Canterbury.

Stevens also hit 15 fours from in his 149-ball innings as Kent recovered to 307 all out, having collapsed to 92 for four.

Stevens is at an age where the vast majority of professional cricketers of his generation have long since retired.

But, if anything, he is getting better as he gets older, with the past few seasons seeing the medium-pacer, never once capped by England, produce a string of notable displays with both bat and ball.

His all-round skills were on show Friday when dominated a ninth-wicket stand of 166 with Miguel Cummins, to which the paceman contributed a single.

“We were in a tough situation and all I was worried about was trying to hit a boundary in the first three balls and then get off strike,” Stevens told BBC Radio Kent.

“We got into a bit of a routine, a bit of a rhythm, it actually worked quite well for a few overs and I ve probably got us into quite a good situation.

“I tried to use the wind as much as I could because it was tough out there…As long as I got it aerial and high I thought the wind would take it with it, that was my thought process.”

Following his brilliant innings, Stevens removed Australia Test batsman Marnus Labuschagne as Glamorgan reached stumps on 55 for two, a deficit of 252 runs.

Early in Friday s play Australian paceman Michael Neser took three wickets, a haul that included having Daniel Bell-Drummond lbw for a duck.

But when Nathan Gilchrist was out, Stevens opened his shoulders in a superb display of six-hitting.

He hit two sixes over fine leg, then flicked a third over square leg early in the afternoon session, before lofting a fourth over long on.

Stevens struck two sixes in three balls off Andrew Salter before driving Michael Hogan for four through long-off to bring up his century, from 92 balls.

His ninth six brought up the century partnership.

Stevens had a couple of reprieves, with Labuschagne dropping him on the boundary and Billy Root, brother of England captain Joe, allowing a chance to go through his hands and over the rope.

A powerful square-cut from Stevens knocked umpire Richard Illingworth off his feet, but the former England left-arm spinner got back up and the pair bumped fists before play resumed.

Stevens finally holed out off Labuschagne to be caught by Kiran Carlson at long on.

His latest hundred has coincided with the return of spectators following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fans  favourite Stevens added: “The lads said to me  Oh the crowds come in and you show up, don t you! 

“To get 190 is just remarkable really, I m just pleased I ve got us into a good situation and hopefully we ll bowl well tomorrow.”

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