45yo cult hero bags another Aussie victim

Cult hero Darren Stevens has added Travis Head to his growing list of Aussie victims, dismissing the South Australian captain in the County Championship on Friday.

The 45-year-old paceman removed Australian Test No. 3 Marnus Labuschagne at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens in late April, igniting lighthearted calls for the English veteran to earn an Ashes call-up next summer.

And those pleas have only grown in volume after Stevens struck again on Friday.

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Facing Sussex in Brighton, the Kent paceman rattled Head’s stumps with a delivery that nipped off the seam and caught the left-hander’s inside edge.

The Aussie made his way back to the pavilion for 20, having registered 9 and 8 in his previous first-class match against Northamptonshire.

Stevens finished the day with commendable figures of 3/64 from 22 overs as Sussex posted 256, securing a first-innings lead of 111.

🇦🇺 Test batsmen v @Stevo208 in #LVCountyChamp:

• 54 balls
• 17 runs
• 2 wickets

We're just saying 🤷‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/MGM3yJrfaZ

45 year-old Darren Stevens has now dismissed Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head and is eligible for a vaccine 👀

INJECT IT (literally) AND GET HIM ON THE PLANE💉 🇦🇺 pic.twitter.com/GAf1rluYdB

Elsewhere in England, Labuschagne was trapped LBW by Yorkshire paceman Ben Coad for 10 while South Africa’s Kyle Abbott removed Victorian batter Peter Handscomb for a golden duck.

Meanwhile, Queensland swing bowler Michael Neser rolled through the Yorkshire top-order in Cardiff, claiming 3/15 in a damaging seven-over spell.

Who is Darren Stevens?

Stevens is one of the sport’s many unsung heroes — he has played 313 first-class matches since making his debut in 1997, scoring 15,940 runs and claiming 561 wickets in the game’s longest format.

The English all-rounder seems to get better with age. During the 2020 summer, Stevens was the Bob Willis Trophy’s third-highest wicket-taker, snaring 29 scalps at 15.58 with a stellar economy rate of 2.16.

And his 2021 campaign got underway with an unbeaten 116 not out against Northamptonshire last month.

Darren Stevens of Kent in action.)Source:Getty Images

Stevens was recently named among Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year for 2021, becoming the oldest player to achieve the prestigious feat in 88 years.

His longevity is remarkably rare in the modern era of cricket — Australian all-rounder Cameron Green was just five weeks old when Stevens registered his maiden first-class century in 1999.

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