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Stevens relieved after Kent win

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Neil Carter/Darren Stevens

Darren Stevens admitted he struggled against Neil Carter

Kent's batting hero Darren Stevens admitted he had to work hard for his 69 which swept the Twenty20 Cup holders into the finals day at the Rose Bowl.

Stevens clubbed five sixes in his 32-ball innings which laid the foundations for a 42-run victory over Warwickshire at Edgbaston, but admitted that he initially found batting difficult on a slow pitch.

“It wasn't easy out there at all,” said Stevens. “When I first came out the ball was moving and nibbling about and it was slow coming off the pitch, so timing wasn't easy.

“But I said to Justin Kemp that we had to keep things going and if we could get the rate up to seven an over we could go from there.”

In the end Stevens did better than that, helping Kent take 99 from their last six overs, but he pinpointed Warwickshire's decision to take left-arm seamer Neil Carter out of the attack as a turning point.

“I was surprised they took Carter off because he was getting the ball to go through and he had bowled a couple of quick bouncers so it had been a real struggle against him,” said Stevens.

“I was also a bit surprised that they took Ant Botha off because it was so slow off the pitch that you couldn't get your hands through the ball easily.”

Kent's win was their second in a row at Edgbaston in the competition following their success in last season's final, although it has not always been a happy hunting ground for Stevens.

“I do enjoy playing here, but when I used to come to Edgbaston with Leicestershire we always seemed to lose. Thinking back, we probably won here once in eight years.

“I've done better here since I joined Kent and it's great to have got through to finals day again.”

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