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Page last updated at 06:05 GMT, Friday, 11 June 2010 07:05 UK

Darren Stevens is 'naturally gifted' says Kent coach

Darren Stevens
Stevens has been playing with a broken finger for the last month.

Kent coach Paul Farbrace has described in-form all-rounder Darren Stevens as one of the most naturally gifted batsmen he has ever come across.

Stevens, 34, has scored 730 runs in the championship so far this year -including four centuries, one of which was a season's best 197 against Notts.

"He's one of the most naturally gifted strikers of the ball you'll come across," Farbrace told BBC Radio Kent.

"At the moment he's making the game look very easy and very simple."

He added: "For me he is someone who has always looked a high quality cricketer and now he's in his 30s he's actually maturing as a player.

"I think he's worked his game out pretty well and keeps it simple.

The fact that he's played for the last month with a broken finger is testimony to how well he is playing

Paul Farbrace on Darren Stevens

"In the past if there was any criticism it was that he got lovely 30s and 40s and then got out.

"What he's now done is he gets in and stays in and if he gets 30 he goes on and pretty much gets a hundred.

"That's the thing he's worked really hard on, I think he's simplified his game - a very straightforward technique, and he works exceptionally hard."

What makes Stevens' achievements this season even more impressive is that his four centuries have come in the last five games - when he has been recovering from injury.

"The fact that he's played for the last month with a broken finger is testimony to how well he is playing," said Farbrace.

"If he was struggling with form and had the broken finger it would be easy to use that as an excuse.

"But he's getting on with it and playing cricket so long may it continue."



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