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Kent batsman Darren Stevens revealed his delight at first LV = County Championship Division 2 century of the season against Essex

By Alex Hoad

Darren Stevens was delighted to put the frustration of his early season form behind him to register his first century of the summer.

The 38-year-old all-rounder had scored in the 20s three times, the 30s twice and the 40s once in the opening six games of the LV= County Championship, Division 2 campaign but found his form in style to make 105 from 99 balls in Kent’s first innings of their draw against Essex this week.

Stevens said: “I’m getting there with my form. It was nice to get three figures the other day, though. Getting in and out at the start of the season, getting 20s and 30s is frustrating – I’ve worked hard, though and it’s nice to get the hundred. I just should have got more.”

Stevens went on to score 47 in the second-innings, joining Daniel Bell-Drummond for an 86-run fifth-wicket partnership which effectively ended any hopes the visitors had of snatching an unlikely victory in a rain-affected game.

Darren Stevens Picture: Barry Goodwin

Stevens said: “There always seem to be nervous moments with Kent. I’m partly to blame for that.

“Getting 100 in the first innings, I should have gone on and got a bigger score – if I’d got 150-160 then we’d have had a much bigger lead and the game might have been different.

“It was a little bit nervous on the last afternoon but DBD played outstanding and deserved a hundred – he was disappointed he didn’t get it.”

Stevens added: “He enjoys playing that kind of innings. He’s an old school batter who bats time and faces as many balls as he can. It was a high-class innings.”

Stevens’ two scores in the match – the first which contributes to the scores in the newly-unveiled Mike Denness Challenge Shield – took his career average against Kent’s neighbours to the north to 50 in all forms of the game.

Stevens added: “They are always big games. They are our local rivals. We always get stick at their place and hopefully they get it when they come here from our crowd. They are good fun to play in.”

One mark which eluded the former Leicestershire man was a career milestone. Stevens fell 15 runs short of his 12,000th in First Class cricket.

He added: “I didn’t know that. It’s not something I pay attention to. Down the line you’ll look at it, your kids or family look at your stats. I’m not a stats man, it’s just about winning the games, for me.”

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