All-round Stevens puts Kent through
Darren Stevens turned in a superb performance with bat and ball to send Kent into the Friends Life t20 quarter-finals at Essex’s expense with a 15-run win at Chelmsford.
First he struck an unbeaten 41 from 25 deliveries to lead his side to the formidable total of 183 for three. Then he destroyed the Essex top order by taking 4-21 from four overs.
That left Essex in deep trouble at 85 for five in the 12th over, a position from which they never realy recovered.
They required 75 from the final five overs and, despite the best efforts of Scott Styris and Graham Napier, they fell short on 168 for nine.
Styris departed for 40 in the final over, an effort that contained two sixes and two fours and spanned 27 deliveries, and Napier smashed five fours in making 26 from 15 balls.
Both were caught on the boundary by Alex Blake to leave Kent victorious over Essex for the second time this season in the competition.
Medium-pacer Stevens made his presence felt with the ball by claiming the scalps of Adam Wheater, Owais Shah, Ravi Bopara and Ryan ten Doeschate.
Earlier, his efforts with the bat saw him smash three sixes and three fours, but it was opener Joe Denly who proved the rock of the Kent innings.
He helped himself to three sixes and five fours while making 69 from 54 deliveries before he holed out to Tim Phillips on the boundary to provide ten Doeschate with his solitary wicket.
Azhar Mahmood also provided momentum to the Kent innings with an aggressive 31 from 19 balls, his effort coming to an end when he was bowled by Tim Southee.
Like Stevens, Azhar displayed his all-round qualities as he picked up 3-36 later on.
Kent are away to Leicestershire in the last eight.