Darren Stevens scores 190 for Kent: county cricket – as it happened

Last modified: 07: 41 PM GMT+0

The 45-year-old scored 165 of the runs in a partnership of 166 with Miguel Cummins as Kent took charge against Glamorgan

Roundup

Across the country, cricket grounds were buffeted by wind and doused with rain on Friday. Only four of eight matches saw any play, with only one ground seeing so much as a ball bowled in the afternoon. And so it was that the eyes of the entire cricketing nation turned to Canterbury, where Glamorgan were being ravaged by Storm Stevo.

It was an innings of the utmost and most delicious ridiculousness. Darren Stevens, 45 years young, came out with Kent reeling on 84 for six and departed with them in control of the match and having shared with Miguel Cummins a ninth-wicket partnership of 166 runs, five short of Kent’s all-time record as they led the hosts to 307 all out.

Of those 166 runs Cummins contributed – and it is this detail that really makes it – just one, making it the most one-sided century partnership in first-class cricket history. The last that bears comparison, between Nottinghamshire’s Ted Alletson (who scored 142) and William Riley (10), was played precisely 110 years and one day earlier and was so remarkable that John Arlott wrote an entire book about it.

Stevens’ innings had for a while been quite sensible, perhaps even prosaic. When Kent’s eighth wicket fell he had faced 41 deliveries and was on 30. While managing the strike intelligently to protect his partner (Cummins’ first-class average is 7.64) he added 38 off his next 41 deliveries, at which point he went supersonic.

The next batch of 41 balls went for 91, Stevens twice sending the ball soaring into the hands of fielders who obligingly toppled over the rope. Stevens eventually fell, holing out to long-on, for 190 off 149 balls, with precisely 15 fours and 15 sixes, a total of 150 runs from boundaries.

As it happens, his first innings in excess of 175 runs was also against Glamorgan at Canterbury, in 2005; at the time Jordan Cox, who opened this innings for Kent, was four years old. Glamorgan were 55 for two at the close with Stevens inevitably among the wicket-takers.

At the Ageas Bowl, fewer than 13 overs were bowled before the weather intervened, though that was time enough for Kyle Abbott and Mohammad Abbas to blow away the entire Leicestershire top order. Play in Southampton started on Wednesday, with Hampshire resuming on 223 for seven.

Within a shade over 10 overs on the third day, eight wickets had fallen and only 27 runs scored. Hampshire added 10 to their overnight score, which is when the real action started. Hassan Azad was the first of Leicestershire’s batsmen to go, trapped lbw by Abbott, as was Sam Evans by Abbas in the following over.

Marcus Harris fell to a devilish delivery from Abbas that arrowed irresistibly into off-stump, and Colin Ackermann followed an over later. Finally Lewis Hill, in the batting form of his life, came in requiring one run to reach 500 for the season. He reached that target but was caught behind off Abbott for three, and Leicestershire ended the day on 28 for five.

At Chelmsford, Peter Siddle ended with figures of six for 38 off 21 overs, his best for Essex, as Warwickshire added only seven more to their overnight total of 159 for seven. Tim Bresnan at least managed to complete his half-century before being skewered by Essex’s pair of Cooks, caught at slip by Alastair off the bowling of Sam. Essex were 16 for one in reply at the close.

There were just 18 overs bowled at the Oval, where Surrey – once 135 without loss – nudged their score from 146 for six overnight to 185 for eight against Middlesex before the rain brought an early finish.

Close of play scores

Group One

Derby: Derbyshire 48-0 v Durham (no play on Friday due to rain).
Chelmsford: Essex 16-1 v Warwickshire 166; Essex trail by 150 runs
Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 51-3 v Worcestershire (no play)

Group Two

Bristol: Gloucestershire v Somerset 45-1 (no play)
Southampton: Hampshire 233 v Leicestershire 28-5; Leics trail by 205 runs
The Oval: Surrey 185-8 v Middlesex

Group Three

Canterbury: Kent 307 v Glamorgan 55-2. Glamorgan trail by 252 runs
Northampton: Northamptonshire v Lancashire 59-0 (no play)

Stumps

They have finally given up at Canterbury, where Glamorgan are 55-2, trailing Kent by 252 runs. Stay tuned for our roundup, and let’s hope for better weather tomorrow.

I feel it’s time for me to leave the Oval. There’s still a chance of further play at Canterbury, and the blog will be updated if that happens. For now, though, bye!

A point of information by someone who signs his emails only as M, on the subject of one-sided partnerships: “Anther noteworthy partnership occurred when KP and Matt Dunn put on 139 for the final wicket playing for Surrey against Leicestershire in 2015,” he writes. “Of those runs, Dunn scored five.”

Bad light has once again stopped play at Canterbury, and “Glamorgan’s batsmen are off like ferrets up a drainpipe”, or so we’re told.

There might be another 27 overs to come at Canterbury. Don’t go anywhere!

They’re back out at Canterbury, cricket’s heroic last stand against the elements.

Here is that official confirmation from Chelmsford. Only one game has had any play at all since lunch.

Play has been abandoned for the day 🙃#ESSvWAR

— Essex Cricket (@EssexCricket) May 21, 2021

Bad light seems to have stopped play at Canterbury, where Glamorgan are 48-2 in reply to Darren Stevens’ 190. And play appears to have been abandoned at Chelmsford, though I’ve seen no official confirmation.

With only one match being played I’m going to busy myself with a couple of other tasks, but will pop in to update if anything exciting happens in Canterbury (or Chelmsford, where there is still a chance of more play).

He’s at it again! Stevens, with the ball in his hand now, has Marnus Labuschagne out lbw! Glamorgan are 16-2, in response to Kent’s 307.

Apparently play has now also been abandoned at the Ageas Bowl.

TEA | Tea is now being taken here at @TheAgeasBowl with conditions remaining unchanged so far this afternoon 🌧️

The groundstaff continue to work on the mop up process intermittently, but the chance of further play today is unfortunately looking unlikely as things stand😔 pic.twitter.com/fVdHZmA6UQ

— Hampshire Cricket (@hantscricket) May 21, 2021

The last partnership that bears comparison with Stevens/Cummins today, between Nottinghamshire’s Ted Alletson and William Riley, was played precisely 110 years and one day ago and was the subject of an entire book by John Arlott.

Highest first-class partnerships in which one player scored 90+% of the runs:

166 D Stevens (160 - 96.4%) & M Cummins (1*), 5 extras
Kent v Glamorgan Canterbury 2021

152 T Alletson (142 - 93.4%) & W Riley (10*), 0 extras
Nottingham v Sussex Hove 1911

— Andrew Samson (@AWSStats) May 21, 2021

And also at Bristol, where Somerset are 45-1.

Play abandoned for the day#GLOvSOM #WeAreSomerset pic.twitter.com/idGMy44QKq

— Somerset Cricket 🏏 (@SomersetCCC) May 21, 2021

It is true. Play has also been abandoned at Northampton, with no play at all possible today.

I do believe, though I wasn’t really paying attention to the announcement, that play has been abandoned for the day at the Oval.

Darren Stevens makes 190

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Darren Stevens finally falls for 190!

150 of his runs came in boundaries 💪

A monumental cricketer 🙌 pic.twitter.com/cFOiM7o4Fj

— The Cricketer (@TheCricketerMag) May 21, 2021

Updated

It’s over! Stevens has gone for a 148-ball 190, an innings of the utmost and most delicious ridiculousness.

Tim Keward emails from Canterbury: “The appalling weather conditions alone would suffice to merit this as an exceptional innings from Stevens,” he writes, “however this performance, given the match situation; Kent’s form this season; his own form (with the bat); and, yes, his age, really does exhaust all of the superlatives. It also helps that Glamorgan’s fielders keep dropping him over the boundary.”

The Stevens-Cummins partnership has now contributed 150 runs to Kent’s total of 283-8. Cummins remains on one.

Another one bites the dust: stumps have been called at Bristol, where Somerset are 45-1, only 20.2 overs have been bowled over the first two days, the forecast for tomorrow is bad and for Sunday it’s worse.

Play abandoned for the day#GLOvSOM #WeAreSomerset pic.twitter.com/idGMy44QKq

— Somerset Cricket 🏏 (@SomersetCCC) May 21, 2021

Stevens has faced 123 deliveries, which I will split up into units of 41. He scored 30 off his first 41 deliveries, 38 off his next 41 deliveries, and 91 off the 41 after that.

That’s 150 for Stevo! He’s been dropped twice since he reached his century, apparently (there’s one fixed camera providing the feed, so there could be a herd of camels rampaging across the outfield for all I know). He and Cummins have put on 125 for the ninth wicket, and Cummins is still on one.

Get yourself on the Kent livestream. The last two overs: 4 4 . 6 1 . . 6 . 6 6 1, and Stevens is already on 126.

At the other end, Miguel Cummins has a 30-ball one.

And that’s his century! A century off 92 deliveries, of which the second 50 came off just 31! That’s his second hundred of the season, having scored one in the previous three years, and is celebrated with appropriate relish.

Updated

Somehow I managed to convince my feed of the Kent v Glamorgan to run way behind actual events, and so as I was about to tell you about Darren Stevens’ half-century, I discover that he is in fact on 91. In the last two overs he has scored three sixes and a four.

At Trent Bridge the covers have been taken off ... and then put back on again.

UPDATE | Unfortunately, we are back to square one.

The rain has resumed, and the covers are being rolled out again.#NottsvWorcs pic.twitter.com/iodHSjIdZ0

— Nottinghamshire CCC (@TrentBridge) May 21, 2021

I know what you’re asking: how much play has there been today anyway? So here’s your all-important lunchtime actionometer:

0 overs: Derbyshire v Durham
0 overs: Lancashire v Northamptonshire
0 overs: Somerset v Gloucestershire
0 overs: Nottinghamshire v Worcestershire
10.1 overs: Essex v Warwickshire
12.5 overs: Hampshire v Leicestershire
18 overs: Surrey v Middlesex
30 overs: Kent v Glamorgan

Play abandoned at Derby

Stumps! They’ve given up at Derby, where there will be no play on Friday and they will (try to) resume on Friday with Derbyshire 48-0 against Durham.

Play has been abandoned for Day 2.

We try again tomorrow🌧#ForTheNorth pic.twitter.com/RaTEuLMmZH

— Durham Cricket (@DurhamCricket) May 21, 2021

It might not have been raining when the players went off here at the Oval, but it certainly is now. There’ll be no action here for a little while. Time to get the sandwiches out, methinks.

There is only one match now being played and it’s at Canterbury, where Kent are 98-7. Everywhere else is wet or windy or dark, or wet and windy and dark.

Something stops play: The players leave the field at the Oval. It doesn’t look much darker than it has been all morning, and I don’t see any umbrellas - though in this wind they wouldn’t help much - so it might be the wind wot’s done it.

Another! Blake Cullen angles one in to Rikki Clarke, and the batsman edges through to the keeper. Surrey are 185-8 now.

Tom Helm bowls Hashim Amla with a beauty, clipping the top of off stump. That’s Middlesex’s first wicket of the day, and leave Surrey on 185-7.

And another one! Kyle Abbott gets his third wicket in his fourth over, and it’s Lewis Hill who tickles an edge through to the keeper! Leicestershire are 17-5!

Now Colin Ackermann’s gone, bowled by Kyle Abbott, and Leicestershire are 10-4, with the sixth over not yet over! Ackermann just seemed to play a delivery entirely different to the one that was actually heading his way, and though his legs were completely obscuring the camera’s view of the stumps whatever happened to them was serious enough that one of them had to be swapped out.

Updated

Leicestershire’s reply to Hampshire’s 233 has not got off to the best of starts: Hassan Azad was out for a duck in the second over and Sam Evans followed for five in the third. And now Marcus Harris has been bowled by Abbas! It’s 8-3!

Meanwhile at Canterbury, Michael Neser traps Jack Leaning lbw in his ninth over, bowls Jordan Cox in his 10th and gets Daniel Bell-Drummond lbw in his 11th and Kent will be hoping they never say Neser again.

𝗡𝗘𝗦𝗘𝗥 𝗔𝗚𝗔𝗜𝗡!

Cleaned up. Wickets in back-to-back overs for Michael Neser!

📺 https://t.co/FwzmS5iJzT#KENTvGLAM | #GoGlam pic.twitter.com/CmfMpJIP9c

— Glamorgan Cricket 🏏 (@GlamCricket) May 21, 2021

Innings break! Bresnan gets out as I press send on that post, caught by Alastair Cook in the slips, off Sam Cook. “They say too many Cooks, but it was just the right number for Essex there,” says the commentator.

Hat-trick ball! But Oliver Hannon-Dalby defends! Warwickshire are 166-9 at Chelmsford, with Peter Siddle snaffling Danny Briggs and Liam Norwell in successive deliveries, and Tim Bresnan at the other end unbeaten on 50. I’m particularly enjoying Warwickshire’s batting averages, with Bresnan absolutely miles clear at the top, though actually he’s had similar averages in summers past.

Innings break! Crikey, Leicestershire aren’t hanging around this morning. From 223-7 overnight and 232-7 not long after, Hampshire have been skittled for 233.

BONG! The clock chimes eleven (well, it did a couple of minutes ago) and play has begun (in a few places)!

I might get lucky here: the bell has just rung, and play is going to start on schedule. Meanwhile:

UPDATE: There will be no play before lunch on Day Two.

The rain is still falling and the covers remain on at The Incora County Ground. #DERvDUR

— Derbyshire CCC (@DerbyshireCCC) May 21, 2021

I fear this might be one of those days.

We aren't playing anytime soon unfortunately ☹️#WeAreSomerset #GLOvSOM pic.twitter.com/wSH3J0Do8T

— Somerset Cricket 🏏 (@SomersetCCC) May 21, 2021

Hello world!

I am once again at the Oval, where news today is that it is too windy for the extendable floodlights to be extended, so we’re on natural light only. I’ve also been warned that play might be suspended if wind speeds threaten to exceed those at which hauling around the massive covers becomes unsafe. So it might not be raining, and it might both not be raining and also really quite bright, but play would still be suspended. In short, hold on to your hats. I imagine that similar problems are being wrestled with by groundsmen across the country this morning. I can’t help imagining out-of-control hover covers running out of control under unexpectedly massive wind power, but maybe that’s just my inner optimist.

Here’s my view this morning:

The Oval before day two of Surrey v Middlesex i
The Oval before day two of Surrey v Middlesex in the County Championship Photograph: Simon Burnton/The Guardian

Welcome all. As ever, please do let me know if anything remarkable happens in a match you’re monitoring, or if an entertaining thought blows across your mind. Here’s the state of play in this week’s matches:

Group One

Derby: Derbyshire are 48-0 against Durham.
Chelmsford: Warwickshire are 159-7 against Essex.
Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire are 51-3 against Worcestershire.

Group Two

Bristol: Somerset are 45-1 against Gloucestershire.
Southampton: Hampshire are 223-7 against Leicestershire at the end of day two.
The Oval: Surrey are 146-6 against Middlesex.

Group Three

Canterbury: Kent are 70-2 against Glamorgan.
Northampton: Lancashire are 59-0 against Northamptonshire.

Updated

Contributor

Simon Burnton at the Oval

The GuardianTramp

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