Stevens half-century inspires Kent rally

Tuesday 20th April 2010

Darren Stevens hit eight fours and a six in his unbeaten 50

Kent v Yorkshire LV= County Championship Division 1, Day 1
By Mark Pennell
A counter-attacking half-century from Darren Stevens led a Kent fight back and took the county to their first home batting bonus point of the LV= Championship campaign against Yorkshire at St Lawrence today.
By Wednesday“s tea interval Kent had reached 215 for six, with Stevens unbeaten on 51 from 68 balls and having lost three wickets in each of the opening two sessions.
Resuming on their lunchtime score of 90 for three, the hosts took the score through to 131 with a stand of 53 in 27 overs between Martin van Jaarsveld (20) and Sam Northeast (27) before both fourth-wicket partners fell in the space of two deliveries.
Northeast“s 83-ball stay with three fours ended when he missed an attempted sweep against David Wainwright to go leg before then, to the very next ball from Tim Bresnan, van Jaarsveld“s 107-minute vigil came to a sudden halt when he edged an attempted pull to be caught down the leg-side by keeper Jonathan Bairstow.
Just before tea, James Hockley (14) walked straight into a trap set by Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale by pulling a tennis-ball bouncer from Ajmal Shahzad down the throat of Bresnan at deep mid-wicket.
Batting first after winning the toss Kent had made a reasonably bright start on a sunny, yet chilly morning, but cloud cover soon arrived to make batting that little bit more tricky.
Having helped post 28 for the first wicket skipper Rob Key went for five after an excellent delivery from Huddersfield-born paceman Shahzad. The right-armer got one to lift and hold its line down the Nackington Road slope to graze the outside edge, keeper Bairstow claimed the catch at the second attempt.
Fellow opener Joe Denly played with his accustomed freedom in cracking four fours in his 70-minute stay as he and Geraint Jones added 46 in 19 overs.
The introduction of slow left-arm spinner Wainwright led to two cover driven fours from Jones from his opening two deliveries but Wainwright“s fourth ball, a slow looping delivery, enticed Denly (32) into a loose drive that picked out Joe Sayers at short extra cover to make it 74 for two.
With his score on 24 from 32 balls Jones drove airily at England seamer Bresnan only to see Jacques Rudolph at first slip parry the tough overhead chance for four runs to third man. The let-off counted for nothing, however, when Jones dragged the next ball onto off-stump to go for 28.
Kent made only one change to the team that lost to Nottinghamshire in their opening match of the championship campaign, bringing in off-spinner and batsman James Hockley in the place of seam bowler Phil Edwards.
Kent team: Denly, Key, Jones, van Jaarsveld, Northeast, Stevens, Hockley, Tredwell, Mahmood, Khan, Coles.