FRESH from domestic success with his local team, New Mills cricketer Alistair Stevens has capped off a fabulous season by helping Derbyshire win the ECB 50-plus County Championship National Final.
Stevens was part of the county side which saw off Kent in a dramatic final at Wormsley Cricket Ground in Buckinghamshire earlier this month, securing a second title for Derbyshire in the space of three seasons.
Batting first, Derbyshire made 182-7 from their 45 overs. In reply, Kent were dismissed for 176 in dramatic fashion. The final wicket, that of ex-county cricketer Kevin Masters, fell to the penultimate ball of the match, the Kent captain being caught on the boundary for 45 while attempting to hit a match-winning six runs.
Middle-order batsman Stevens, who scored 12 in the final, has amassed over 300 runs, at an average of over 30, for the county over-50s side this season, including knocks of 50 and 37 against Norfolk and Wales respectively in the knock-out stages of the competition. This after Derbyshire had scraped through the group stage in third place.
Stevens, who missed only one of the 12 games played in the competition, said: “It has involved an awful lot of commitment, but they are a superb bunch of lads. And the games themselves are played in a very good spirit.”
Stevens played for Didsbury and Whalley Range as a professional in the Lancashire and Cheshire League, as well as for Lancashire CCC’s 2nd XI, before joining Cheadle in 1987. He has also coached in New Zealand.
He joined his present club New Mills in 1992, where he is the current club president, and was also captain of the second team which recently won promotion back to Division Three of the Peak Sports Derbyshire & Cheshire League.
Reflecting on the county success, Stevens added: “This is the best feeling I have ever had. I played second team cricket at Lancashire several years ago, but to get the opportunity to play at this level and then go all the way in the competition and win is just unbelievable. It just caps off a fantastic season for me.”