Published: 17:00, 25 May 2016
| Updated: 17:02, 25 May 2016
After a rollercoaster start to his championship career, Sean Dickson hopes his lifetime-best knock will get people talking about his batting again.
The 24-year-old South African-born batsman earned a pro-deal at Kent thanks to his runs the 2nd XI last summer but despite being handed an opener’s role this season, Dickson’s scoring had been overshadowed before carrying his bat for 207 not out at Derby on Tuesday.
In his first innings of the season, Dickson was given out for nought at Leicester, after handling the ball as it rolled back towards his stumps – the first Kent man dismissed in that fashion since 1882.
After 37 runs combined in his next two outings, Dickson then missed the home game against Gloucestershire – needing stitches in his hand after a freak domestic incident. He returned with a score of 14 in last week’s draw at Northants.
Dickson's knock helped Kent ensure a dramatic seven-wicket win and he admitted it was a wonderful feeling to get back to what he does best, adding: “I am feeling good and pleased that I did my bit for the team.
“Hopefully, people can get back to talking about my runs rather than anything else, although I’m not 100% sure that will happen given what’s gone on.
“I am lucky to play with these guys. It’s a close-knit group and they have shown me a lot of support. Everyone is happy for everyone else’s success.”
He added: “I tried to stick to my game plan. They bowled to good lines but when Joe (Denly) and I went out there on the second night, we said we wanted them to get bored of us, not the other way around.
“I just wanted to keep my head down and keep on going, although there was a lot of pressure on us. When I was on 90 I was at the non-striker’s end thinking I just wanted those 10 runs to fly.
“I’ve scored a First-Class hundred so I know what the feeling is but I’d never scored a championship hundred so that was wonderful. When I got to 100 or so I kicked on.
“I hadn’t been attacking much earlier in the innings but I was seeing it big and felt good out there. I always pick up more runs the longer I have been there.”
In a quirk of fate, Dickson blocked a ball from Chesney Hughes, only for it to roll back and clip his off-stump but the bails remained in place.
He said: “From that point on I thought ‘that’s a sign’ and played with even more freedom. My previous highest score was 173 and when I came off that day there were lots of comments about not having many moments like that in my career.
“I kept thinking about that and just told myself ‘don’t chuck it away’ because when are you going to get the opportunity to put up 200?”
Kent skipper Sam Northeast paid tribute to Dickson, claiming: "After he'd got to that first hundred it was a weight off his shoulders and from then on he looked different class. Hopefully now we'll see the best of him."
Dickson’s double-ton followed Joe Denly’s at Northampton the previous week and Daniel Bell-Drummond’s against Loughborough MCCU last month. It’s the first time three Kent players have achieved the feat in a calendar year since 1991.
It was also the first time in five years a Kent opener has carried his bat.