Stevens: We were out­classed

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - - By Richard Harvey

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.

Pic­ture: Barry Good­win

Dar­ren Stevens ap­peals for a wicket dur­ing Kent’s de­feat against

Hamp­shire at Can­ter­bury

Pic­ture: Barry Good­win

Ben Harmi­son on his way

to 38 in Kent’s sec­ond in­nings against Hamp­shire

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