Batting at No. 7 for Kent against Glamorgan on day two of a county encounter in Canterbury, Darren Stevens’ scintillating knock lifted Kent to a competitive first-innings total of 307.
Indian women’s cricketer Shikha Pandey took to Twitter to applaud Darren Stevens’ brilliant counterattacking innings. She wrote:
“Darren Stevens is such an incredible cricketer. #LVCountyChamp.”
To this, Ashwin agreed and replied:
“Yes he is,” and also included star-struck emojis.
Darren Stevens’ heroics with the bat lifted Kent out of deep mire. At one stage, they had collapsed to 128 for 8. Darren Stevens and Miguel Cummins then featured in a ninth-wicket stand of 166.
Darren Stevens went on an all-out attack and clobbered 15 fours and as many sixes during his sensational innings. He was eventually dismissed 10 short of a well-deserved double hundred, as he holed out to long-on off Marnus Labuschagne.
Incredibly, Miguel Cummins’ contribution in the partnership was just 1 off 55 balls. He was the last-man out, bowled by Labuschagne for 7. Michael Neser and Timm van der Gugten were Glamorgan’s best bowlers, claiming four scalps apiece.
When Kent came out to bowl, the day got even better for Darren Stevens as he trapped Labuschagne lbw for 11 off 14 with one that nipped back off the seam. Glamorgan were 31 for 2 after 14 overs in response to Kent’s 307.
Darren Stevens: Going strong at 45
Having made his debut in 1997, Darren Stevens has featured in over 300 first-class games and has amassed over 16000 runs. His ton on Friday was his 36th in first-class cricket.
He has also claimed more than 560 wickets with his medium pace and has 30 five-wicket hauls. Darren Stevens further has the experience of over 300 List A games and more than 200 T20 matches.
In September 2019, he struck a career-best 237 against Yorkshire in Leeds. In that game as well, Kent were in massive trouble, having collapsed to 39 for 5 batting first. Darren Stevens (237 off 225) and skipper Sam Billings (138) then added a mammoth 346 for the sixth wicket to lift Kent.
Kent declared their innings at 482 for 8. Yorkshire were eventually set an improbable 551 to win the game. Darren Stevens then starred with the ball, and ripped through the Yorkshire line-up with figures of 5 for 20.
Kent had earlier informed Darren Stevens that they would not be renewing his contract, but had to make a u-turn following the veteran cricketer's match-winning performances.