Stevens helps Kent storm to victory
Stevens helps Kent storm to victory

Kent dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on a record-breaking 433-run victory over Yorkshire at Emerald Headingley which keeps alive their hopes of finishing third in the Specsavers Division One table.

Yorkshire, chasing a target of 551 – a world record had they achieved it, started day four in tatters at 44 for six, and they were bowled out for 117 shortly before lunch. 

It was Kent’s biggest ever victory in terms of runs in their first-class history and Yorkshire’s heaviest runs defeat. It was also the fourth heaviest in the history of the County Championship.

Kent claimed a maximum 24 points from their fifth win of the season and move up to fourth in table, two points behind Hampshire in third. 

The two sides meet for a final round clash at the Spitfire St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury next week.

Yorkshire’s fourth defeat of the campaign yielded five points and sees them slip from third at the start of the week to fifth in the table.

They are 10 points behind Hampshire having suffered their second successive defeat and end the season against Warwickshire at Edgbaston. All final rounds fixtures start on Monday.

Darren Stevens, with four wickets overnight, claimed his fifth wicket in the second over of the morning when he had Tim Bresnan caught behind (46 for seven in the 24th over of the innings).

It was also the 43-year-old’s 50th Championship wicket of the season, a mark reached in the first innings by fellow seamers Matt Milnes and Harry Podmore. 

Top-scorer Jonny Tattersall and Matthew Fisher then held Kent up by sharing 35 inside 17 overs before Podmore had the latter brilliantly caught behind one-handed diving to his right by Ollie Robinson as Yorkshire fell to 81 for eight in the 41st over.

Another spell of defiance came as Tattersall and Duanne Olivier united to share 35 inside 14 before Daniel Bell-Drummond bowled the latter for his Yorkshire best 24 – 116 for nine after 54.

That wicket came as lunch was extended to try and finish the game, which it was when Bell-Drummond had Tattersall caught at second slip for 41 in the next over.

A number of notable records were posted in this match.

Stevens’ 237 on the first day helped him become only the fifth player in history to score a double hundred and take 10 wickets in a first-class match beyond the age of 43. 

Stevens took 10 wickets in last week’s win at Nottinghamshire.

WG Grace is on that list, as is former Kent all-rounder Frank Woolley, who achieved the feat in the 1930s.

Stevens, aged 43 years and 142 days, is the second oldest player to score 200 and take five wickets in an innings in a first-class match.

Grace is the oldest having done it for Gloucestershire in 1895 aged 46 years and 303 days.

Here, Stevens finished with five for 20 from 18 overs in the second innings and claimed match figures of seven for 70 from 38.

He shared 346 with captain Sam Billings in the first innings to help recover from 39 for five to 482 for eight declared, their partnership being the highest for the sixth wicket at Headingley.

Billings hit 138 and 122 not out becoming the first man to score two hundreds in a Championship game at Headingley and the first Kent player to post two hundreds in the same fixture since Martin van Jaarsveld did it in 2008.

Kent’s Darren Stevens 

“I’ve just seen that (stat on WG Grace), only because Mitch (Claydon) was taking the mickey saying we look pretty similar!

“I was very tired this morning, and I was praying for that early wicket. Luckily it came. To be fair, I was pretty done in after that spell last night, 13 overs.

“But the early wicket got me going.

“We needed a bit of patience in the end. It was a flat pitch, and there were a lot of theories flying around about how we’d get wickets. Really, it was just same old, same old. Do what we do. 

“All through the game, the wickets have fallen with the newer ball. 

“We wanted to get out there earlier with the ball last night, but Sam (Billings) was more about trying to keep the ball harder for this morning with his declaration.

“Getting the wickets we did last night, we couldn’t have written it.

(His performance) “I can’t really put it into words. If you’d have asked me at the start of the season, I would have said that I’ll have a decent year, but not like this. 

“It was a bit frustrating early season with a few catches going down, and it didn’t really happen with the bat. Then, the last part of the summer has been pretty special. A lot of hard work’s gone in, and it’s starting to pay off now.”


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