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Cricket: Stevens happy to help Kent cause

PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 September 2018

Kent's Darren Stevens in batting action (pic John Walton/PA)

Kent's Darren Stevens in batting action (pic John Walton/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Darren Stevens was delighted to do his bit for Kent on the first day of their County Championship Division Two clash with promotion rivals Middlesex at Lord’s.

Stevens (4-44) was the pick of the Kent bowling, as Harry Podmore (3-35) helped dismiss the hosts for 161, then hit 64 in reply, as Grant Stewart (60 not out) helped the visitors close on 189-9.

And Stevens said: “I’m a guy who bowls a little bit, but I’m a batter. I get paid to bat and it is really frustrating when I don’t get my runs, so it was good to contribute.

“I think the pitch is a little bit two-paced actually. There are a few live grassy areas and bowlers who kissed the pitch got more out of it, whereas if you looked to smash the surface it just stuck in it a little bit.

“We were lucky getting a few LBWs early when it was a little bit livelier.”

Kent’s Joe Denly fell cheaply to Steven Finn, in what many were calling an audition for the England squad ahead of their tour to Sri Lanka.

But Stevens backs his team-mate for national duty, adding: “I was hoping Joe was going to get runs. He has got to be pushing for the winter tour. How can he not be?

“He bowls, bats and whatever he is doing at the moment he is doing really well.

“I reckon he would be a good pick. He is in the form of his life, getting runs, wickets.

“Even if they said to him would you open, why not? He bats at three and has opened in his career. He has sorted his technique out and is playing nice and straight now.

“His bowling is kicking on now too. He’s a fine player.”

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