Surrey v Kent: Darren Stevens seals victory for visitors

Darren Stevens
Stevens has now taken 43 wickets and scored 589 runs for Kent in the Championship this summer
LV= County Championship Division Two, Guildford
Kent 408 & 292 beat Surrey 398 & 213 by 89 runs
Surrey 7pts; Kent 24pts
Match scorecard

Surrey suffered a setback in their challenge for promotion as Kent beat them by 89 runs at Guildford.

All-rounder Darren Stevens took 5-68 as the home side were bowled out for 213, having been set a target of 303 to win.

Sam Billings made a vital unbeaten 57 earlier in the day as Kent were all out for 292, with Stuart Meaker claiming 7-90 for match figures of 11-196.

But Surrey failed to capitalise on paceman Meaker's efforts, despite 68 off 64 balls by Tillakaratne Dilshan.

The seven bonus points earned by Surrey at Woodbridge Road were enough to lift them into second place, but only two points clear of Hampshire.

Kent, meanwhile, jumped two places to fifth, and although they are 23 points behind Surrey, could yet muster a late bid for promotion of their own as they have a game in hand.

They managed to add 63 to their overnight 229-6, with wicketkeeper Billings hitting six fours in his third half century of the season, having shared a seventh-wicket stand of 85 with Calum Haggett (44).

Despite losing both openers cheaply, Surrey batted positively in their run-chase, but wickets fell regularly and when Dilshan was caught by Adam Riley at second slip off all-rounder Stevens, who also picked up four wickets in Surrey's first innings, the visitors stood at 158-6.

And the 38-year-old fittingly ended the game by removing Tim Linley with the help of another slip catch by Ben Harmison as the last three wickets went down for 18 runs.

Surrey skipper Gary Wilson:

"We just have to try our best now to win our last three Championship matches and see where that leaves us.

"It was the right decision to bowl first on day one, but we didn't bowl as well as we should have done on that opening day.

"Having said that, we were happy enough to be chasing 303 in the conditions, but we couldn't get partnerships going and that's disappointing.

"Stuart Meaker, in particular, didn't deserve to be on the losing side."

Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens:

"My first six overs went for 40 runs, when Rob Key gave me the new ball, and to be honest I didn't quite have my mind on the job.

"So it was good to come back, when the ball was slightly older, and try to get into a bit of rhythm and to have a bit more protection with a number of fielders on the boundary.

"Dilshan was coming hard at us by then, and so to get him during my second spell really put us on top and, after that, it was just a case of working hard and working our way through their batting."

"It was a tough match and my body is killing me at the moment. I need a cold beer and a hot bath."

BBC Radio Kent's Peter Guise:

"Tight disciplined bowling from Kent on the last day enabled them to record their third County Championship win on the bounce, and a double over Surrey.

"Sam Billings made undefeated half centuries in both innings, Darren Stevens claimed a five-for in the second and Callum Haggett impressed with both bat and ball in his comeback match.

"Kent may just have turned the corner."