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The history of T20 at Tunbridge Wells

Friday 17th July 2015

Only 4 T20 matches have been played at Tunbridge Wells, but one name in particular stands out in all of these – Darren Stevens.

In 2009, Kent played Hampshire and batted first. A solid opening was made – Rob Key contributing 58 with a strike rate of 111, but wickets fell and the Spitfires found themselves at 68 for three.

Darren Stevens whacked 56 of just 27 balls, featuring 6 sixes and 2 fours, a total of 183 was needed for a Hampshire win. Hampshire batted with tenacity – Lumb hit 11 fours on his way to 59, Carberry and Benham chipped in with 39 and 36 equally. But Kent Spitfires held on to win by eight runs.

Sussex were the opposition in 2010 and several Kent batsmen got in the runs but couldn’t press on. Captain Rob Key hit 23, as did van Jaarsveld, Geraint Jones scored 32 and Azhar Mahmood fired off a quick 16.

Stevens was again the star performer and scored 52 runs off 36 balls. A sub-par total of 163 was set but thanks to spirited Spitfire bowling from the likes of James Tredwell (2-32), Bandara (2-34) and Stevens (1-19) meant the chase was difficult for the Sharks, achieving the target with just two balls to spare.

The 2011 festival featured two T20 matches for the crowd, starting off with Kent v Somerset. Batting first, Kent played poorly with only three batsmen reaching double figures.

A typically measured Rob Key struck 43 whilst an explosive Darren Stevens hit 68 runs off 41 deliveries, James Tredwell offered slight resistance at the end hitting 10 of 11 balls.

Somerset, chasing 163, were never troubled with Peter Trego the only batsmen dismissed. Marcus Trescothick scored 64, but the Man of the Match performance went to Roelof van der Merwe as he thumped 89 of 51, an innings that featured 7 fours and 6 sixes.

The last match to be played at the Nevill was heavily rain affected and each team could only face 5 overs each. Hampshire went first and Michael Lumb hit 35 off 11 balls, Jimmy Adams chipped in with 33 runs.

Kent were left needing 79 runs for victory and despite the best efforts of Darren Stevens, scoring 45 runs at a strike rate off 281, only 58 runs could be mustered as Hampshire won by 20 runs.

Oliver McManus