Cricket: Kent’s Billings ‘amazed’ by historic effort

PUBLISHED: 19:26 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 19:26 18 September 2019

Kent's Sam Billings (pic: Simon Cooper/PA)

Kent's Sam Billings (pic: Simon Cooper/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Kent captain Sam Billings was surprised to learn he had rewritten the history books during day three of their match against Yorkshire.

Billings became the first man to score two hundreds in a Championship match at Headlingley as he followed his first innings 138 with an unbeaten 122 in a total of 337-7.

When told the news, he said: "Really? Wow. That is amazing.

"It was just enjoyable to have some time in the middle. As I've said before, it's been a disappointing summer for myself, missing a home World Cup etc.

"I'm trying to make up for lost time. When you're in form as well, you can't take it for granted. You're always going to have a run of bad form, especially in the red-ball game. It can be even more brutal than the white ball game. When you're in a good run of form, you have to make the most of it.

"I'm really enjoying my batting at the moment, and it's great to play in this team."

Having shared a record 346-run stand in the first innings with Darren Stevens, who hit a career-best 237 as Kent recovered from 39-5 to reach 482-8, Billings saw the hosts dismissed for 269.

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And he then put on a 124-run partnership with Ollie Robinson, who fell three runs short of his own century.

Having set Yorkshire 551 to win, Kent then reduced them to 44-6 as Stevens (4-12) and Matt Milnes (2-9) added to their first innings hauls.

And Billings added: "If I'm honest, I was hoping to get two maybe three wickets tonight.

"The thinking behind us batting on was that you don't want the ball to be too old going into that morning session, 10.30am start. It's done more in that first hour every morning than any other part of the day.

"You don't want to be bowling with a soft ball. We've got more than we thought. The boys did exceptionally. Darren Stevens keeps going.

"I've got two hundreds in the game, and I'll probably not even be talked about. It's his game of cricket.

"I also thought Ollie Robinson played brilliantly. He's had a fantastic season. His keeping's got better and better, and he's a really exciting batting prospect.

"We dropped six catches in the first innings, albeit some really tough chances. But a couple of bits of magic there in the field. It's a funny game, cricket. When things are going your way, things like that happen. Visa versa when it's not."

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