South Africa fall over easy as England Lions thrash tourists in warm-up
- Tourists slump to innings defeat at the hands of Lions
- Darren Stevens, 46, to leave Kent but denies retirement
South Africa will head into next week’s first Test against England already burned by the so-called ‘Bazball’ approach after suffering a crushing defeat by their Lions side in their solitary warm-up match.
Speaking in the latest edition of Wisden Cricket Monthly, Dean Elgar, the Proteas’ captain, said that England’s ultra-aggressive methods under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum had no “longevity” and risked leaving them with “egg on their faces”.
However, his side’s first encounter with the approach during a non-first-class fixture in Canterbury ended with an innings and 56-run loss to England’s understudies, whose victory was built on a rapid 672 all out scored at more than 5.5 runs per over courtesy of centuries from Harry Brook (140) and Ben Duckett (145).
Ollie Robinson finished with match figures of five for 105 as South Africa were bowled out for 183 on the last day. But after a five-wicket haul in the first innings, Craig Overton, the second Lions seamer in England’s squad for the first Test at Lord’s that begins next Wednesday, left the field on the final morning with a back issue.
Meanwhile, Darren Stevens will leave Kent at the end of the season after 17 seasons but reports of the 46-year-old’s retirement from cricket may be premature. Kent announced on Friday that Stevens will leave the club he joined from Leicestershire back in 2005, prompting suggestions the all-rounder was also calling time on his playing career altogether.
But speaking to BBC Sport, Stevens stated his desire to continue a playing career that has brought 16,676 runs and 591 wickets in first-class cricket, even if he is yet to find a new club. “I don’t feel like I’m ready to give up,” he said. “I love the game so much. I have that passion for it. That is why I’m still playing now. I still feel like I can do a job with the bat and the ball.”