County Championship: Darren Stevens century puts Kent on top against Northamptonshire


Darren Stevens.
Darren Stevens hit 15 fours and two sixes in his unbeaten 116
County Championship Group Three, The County Ground, Northampton (day two):
Northamptonshire 91-1: Vasconcelos 54*
Kent 455: Stevens 116*, Robinson 84, Leaning 79; Buck 3-84
Northamptonshire (2 pts) trail Kent (5 pts) by 364 runs

Veteran all-rounder Darren Stevens hit the 35th first-class century of his career as Kent took control against Northants at the County Ground.

Resuming on 309-7 overnight, Kent were guided to 455 all out, in the main through 44-year-old Stevens’ exploits.

He hit an unbeaten 116 off 134 balls as tail-enders Harry Podmore (29) and Miguel Cummins (24) also contributed.

Northants’ reply was held up by several rain delays but Ricardo Vasconcelos (54no) led them to 91-1 at the close.

The South African played the leading role in an opening partnership of 77 with Ben Curran (24) before the latter chopped on to the wicket from a Cummins delivery.

Players paused after lunch for a two-minute silence to mark the passing of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Flags were also flown at half-mast in memory of the former two-time president of the MCC.

Stevens, England’s oldest active first-class cricketer, will turn 45 at the end of April and his ton here made him the oldest player to score a County Championship century in almost 35 years since Chris Balderstone achieved that milestone for Leicestershire against Sussex in 1986, aged 45.

Acutely aware he was running out of partners after Matt Milnes edged to slip early in the morning session, Stevens, who shared a 71 stand with Ollie Robinson (84) at the end of day one, stepped up the pace, bringing up his century off 120 balls.


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