Kent 259 and 142-7 (Stevens 53 not)
Derbyshire 159 (Madsen 56, Stevens 6-47)
Kent lead by 242 runs
It was the Darren Stevens show at Canterbury today, as the soon-to-be 41 year old bowled us out with his old-fashioned medium pace and then scored a crucial half century to, in my opinion, put the game beyond us.
Stevens is a throw back to the days of Tom Cartwright and Derek Shackleton, bowlers who could run in all day and just drop it on or around a length, nibbling around a little to induce the false shot. At this stage of the season he is gold dust to his side, as the wickets suit him down to the ground. Our best chance of success here is to get him pulling a muscle while going for a quick single, as he is the standout bowler in the attack.
He is also a classic case of the late maturing cricketer. He was a decent batsman who bowled a bit for most of his twenties, but became a genuine all rounder since he turned thirty. While youth in any side is an asset in the field, an old head in these conditions is worth its weight in gold.
Our profligate nature in the first hour of the game will be what cost us here, as cost us it will assuredly do. For all the protestations to the contrary tonight, unless Stevens can't bowl and the wicket settles down, we will be likely rolled over a second time and lose by some distance.
It's disappointing, but we can't complain too much. We had the option of bowling and chose to do so, but in making such a decision, you need your main strike bowlers to find line and length, something that ours failed to do until they had 80 on the board, not far shy of the first innings deficit.
We fought back well in the final session tonight, indicative of the battling mentality now in the side, but we will need a lot more of that tomorrow.
Shiv Thakor and Wayne Madsen took the attack to the home side, but as Wayne said tonight, there is always a ball with your name on it, on this wicket.
I hope to see the battling continue tomorrow, but expect a heavy defeat at the end of it all.
If we can win this one, I can win Miss World.
It would need something very special, in each instance.