Star Stevens not rest­ing on lau­rels

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport Www.kentonline.co.uk/sport -

Darren Stevens says he is en­joy­ing the praise for his su­perb form, claim­ing it is his re­ward for hard work in the off-sea­son. De­spite turn­ing 41 on April 30, the all-rounder has a club-best 296 Cham­pi­onship runs at an av­er­age of more than 70 from the first three games and has also weighed in with 22 wick­ets at an av­er­age of 11.5. Af­ter a trade­mark quick­fire 90 and match fig­ures of 9-110 to help see off Der­byshire in­side three days at Can­ter­bury on Sun­day – a re­sult which main­tained Kent’s per­fect start – Stevens ad­mit­ted he has been re­ceiv­ing ‘a lot of praise’ from team-mates. He added: “They know how much I put in over the win­ter and in pre-sea­son. “I worked re­ally hard – I wanted to do well. Yes I am 40 and com­ing to the end of my ca­reer but I want to be there as a player, not there on what I have done in the past.” He added: “I want to be there on what I’m do­ing, I want to be get­ting runs, tak­ing wick­ets, catch­ing balls and win­ning games and as long as I’m do­ing that I’ll ac­cept the praise they’re giv­ing me. “I don’t want to be in that side if I don’t feel like I’m do­ing my job but I feel like I’m do­ing it at the minute.” With the Royal Lon­don One-Day Cup cam­paign be­gin­ning with the visit of Hamp­shire to Can­ter­bury on Thurs­day (11am), Stevens said he would take one thing into white ball com­pe­ti­tion from the win­ning Cham­pi­onship start:‘That’s the win­ning men­tal­ity and the mo­men­tum.’ He added: “We worked so hard in pre-sea­son to get where we are to­day. It’s only go­ing to help us with the mo­men­tum for ev­ery­thing.”

Pic­ture: Gary Browne FM4751148

Darren Stevens bat­ting in the first in­nings against Der­byshire

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