Stevens: We were outclassed
Kent’s three-game winning streak in LV= County Championship, Division 2 ended with a crushing defeat against promotion-chasing Hampshire at Canterbury on Monday.
The visitors won by 196 runs as Kent suffered their first defeat in any form of cricket since the NatWest T20 Blast loss against Essex in Colchester on July 12.
But Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens didn’t go without a fight – he went down with all-guns blazing.
Stevens top scored with 74 from 81 balls, including seven fours and four sixes, as his side were dismissed for 304 chasing a victory target of 501. He was also Kent’s top performer in the first innings, hiting 64 as the hosts made just 191.
He said: “I always look to hit the ball regardless of what form of cricket I am playing in.
“If I do try and bat in any other way, I find myself getting in bad positions and get myself out playing silly shots.
“You always have to be positive – I won’t change that.”
The loss leaves Kent fifth and 41 points behind Hampshire, who occupy the second promotion spot and Stevens said one word summed up the result – disappointing.
He said: “We have played some exciting cricket over the past six or seven weeks, so to lose like we did was disappointing.
“There are no excuses for Hampshire outclassed us in areas.”
But despite facing a massive last-day run chase, Stevens said there had been no talk of shutting up shop before start of play with Kent 95-2.
He said: “It was a good wicket and we it. all knew that if we could keep wickets in hand, we could have a go after tea.
“The plan was to chase 220 or so and we knew we could have a real go at it then.
“Unfortunately, we lost wickets when we didn’t need to through a few loose shots and we never got in the position we wanted. We will learn and move on.”
Former Kent players, opener Michael Carberry and all-rounder Matt Coles, got among the runs and wickets for Hampshire.
Carberry scored 39 and 81 as Hampshire reached 380 all out in the their first innings and 311-5 declared in their second.
Coles took 1-36 as Kent slumped to 191 all out in their first innings, before helping dismiss the hosts on the final day with figures of 3-68.
Darren Stevens appeals for a wicket during Kent’s defeat against
Hampshire at Canterbury
Ben Harmison on his way
to 38 in Kent’s second innings against Hampshire