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County Championship 2021

Watch: 44-year-old Darren Stevens unveils incredible reverse reverse sweep en route to 35th first-class ton

Darren Stevens sweep
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Watch: 44-year-old Darren Stevens pulled off an improvised version of the sweep shot on his way to his 35th first-class century during the ongoing Kent v Northamptonshire 2021 County Championship game.

Stevens, who hit his maiden first-class century back in 1999, turns 45 later this month but is showing no signs of rustiness whatsoever, becoming the oldest player to score a County Championship century since 1986. Batting at No.7, he remained unbeaten on 116, taking Kent to 455 in the first innings at Northampton.

On 92, he unleashed an incredible sweep stroke off Rob Keogh; shaping up to play the reverse sweep as the ball left the off-spinner’s hand, he instantly switched his stroke into a more conventional paddle sweep as the ball approached him outside leg-stump, managing to dab the delivery down. Wicketkeeper Adam Rossington tried to keep up with the mid-stroke switch, but the ball sped past him on its way to the fine-leg fence, beating the fielder on the ropes.

The very next over, Stevens crossed the three-figure mark; the oldest active first-class cricketer in England then returned to snare two Northamptonshire wickets on day three.

His innings contained 15 fours and two sixes, but none of them was as enterprising as the sweep shot.

Here’s a look at the stroke:

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