England's Ben Stokes-inspired international summer produces immediate results with Kent heroics

A breathtaking summer of international cricket saw England win the Cricket World Cup and claim an Ashes draw.

It was meant to be the end of all the theatricals after a campaign which began in May and only ended on Sunday.

Ben Stokes and England were supposed to have inspired the next generation in a summer not seen since the likes of the 2005 Ashes.

Ben Stokes had the summer of a lifetime with England as they won the World Cup and drew the Ashes (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
It required heroics from the all-rounder on both occasions to salvage a win at Headingley, and a super over in the World Cup final (Mike Egerton/PA via AP)

But little did we expect such immediate results.

In division one of the County Championship, Kent’s decision to bat first appeared to be going about as well as Australia’s shout to bowl first in the final Ashes Test.

With South African Duane Olivier running riot, the Yorkshire bowler took four wickets as Kent were reduced to 5-39.

Enter Darren Stevens, who played the innings of his career and made 237 from 225 deliveries alongside Sam Billings.

Billings himself made 138 from 209 balls as the lower middle-order duo put on an astonishing 346-run partnership.

Darren Stevens put on a career-best innings against Yorkshire. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
Stevens, alongside Billings, helped catapult Kent into a winning position . (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Could they be the future of England? Well, in all likelihood not.

Stevens, at 43, is looking towards the twilight of his career while Billings, 28, last appeared for England’s ODI squad in 2018 against Australia.

But it is another remarkable feat to add to this sporting summer’s records, as Kent declared overnight on 482-8.

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