STEVENS TAKES EIGHT WICKETS IN RED-BALL RETURN
Darren Stevens says his careerbest performance against Leicestershire this week was a result of having ‘six weeks off’ during Kent’s ill-fated T20 campaign.
The 41-year-old found his opportunities limited with bat and ball during the Spitfires’ South Group campaign but returned to form with a bang in the Specsavers County Championship, claiming 8-75 against his home club Leicestershire at Canterbury.
With the ball in T20s, the allrounder bowled just 18.2 overs across all 14 games, picking up four wickets at an average of 40 while he was not called upon to bat six times and when he did, he scored just 113 runs at an average of 14.
Stevens said: “It was nice to have a red ball back in my hand. I feel like I’ve had about six weeks off, just sitting around watching the lads play. Even when I’ve been involved, I’ve not really been involved in the game.
“It’s nice to get back and get given the ball and to do a job. I enjoyed it.”
He added: “I didn’t think I was going to get all 10, although there was a bit of a joke going on with the boys when Milne got that (eighth) wicket.
“I’ve not taken a eight-fer before – 7-20 was my best – and I think the only ones on the field not mentioning that were the umpires.
“I was just trying to do my job, as I do every game, try and run in and hit off-stump. That pace of pitch for me, I got the best out of it and it went my way.”
Kent did allow a commanding position to slip away as the visitors posted 350 in their first innings on day two, having been 174-8 on the opening day.
Stevens added: “It was a day of two halves and we were frustrated.
“There wasn’t much pace in the pitch for our quicker lads and at 174-8 we were in a dominant position but we let ourselves down a little bit after that.
“The ball got softer and the boys got a bit weary, this being the first day back after five or weeks away from four-day cricket.
“That took its toll a little bit which is a bit frustrating but adapting day-to-day it’s all part and parcel of playing first-class cricket.”
Following the end of this week’s match, Kent are next in Championship action on Tuesday at Durham.