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Home   Kent   Sport   Article

Kent Spitfires all-rounder Darren Stevens retains hope side can reach knockout stages of NatWest T20 Blast South group against all the odds

11 July 2014
by Alex Hoad

Darren Stevens admitted he was disappointed with his two-game tenure as Kent’s stand-in skipper but has not yet given up on a place in the NatWest T20 Blast knockout stages.

Last Friday's 47-run defeat to Hampshire, following a heavy loss at The Oval, left Kent needing to win all four remaining games in South Group - starting with Friday's televised trip to Sussex (7pm) and Saturday afternoon's game at Essex (2.30pm) and hope other results go their way, to stand any chance of a top-four finish.

Stevens – who stood-in for the injured Rob Key in the last two games – said: “I’m nought from two sadly It was disappointing.”

After handing him his first Kent T20 bowling action, which yielded his first wicket against Hampshire, Stevens backed Ben Harmison to continue in the attack, in the absence of Doug Bollinger, adding: “I think we’ve got something with Harmy there and he could do a job for us.

Darren Stevens. Picture Barry Goodwin

Darren Stevens. Picture: Barry Goodwin

“He’s only bowled two or three overs against Essex in the Championship, took two wickets and didn’t bowl again. Maybe we should bowl him a bit more.”

Stevens admitted captaining the side had been challenging, especially missing leading run-scorer Key and top bowlers Doug Bollinger and David Griffiths.

He said: “It’s hard. I’m giving chances to Harmy who has never bowled for us in T20 cricket, to Cowdrey, who only bowled once last year and they did well.

“It’s a nice thing to have them come in and do well but we’re missing Key, one of the best T20 bowlers in the world in Bollinger and our death bowler Griff.

“That is huge but it gives these boys a chance. There’s a lot of chat from them saying they want to show what they can do, it’s a huge opportunity for them but it’s up to them to take it. It’s a stepping stone to the future for them.”

Stevens says winning all their remaining games is their only chance of a quarter-final place.

He added: “We have to win four and hope. We’ve got to win them all to have any chance of qualifying.

“We’re just off here and there, picking the fielders out when another day we might find a gap and it goes for four. At the minute, it’s not going our way. 

“Hopefully, the four-day game will mix it up a bit this week and freshen it up for the next two T20s.”

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