Royal London Cup Final 2022: Lancashire bowled out for 285 as Kent claim 21 run victory in Nottingham

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Lancashire fell short in Nottingham after a below par fielding display - but cricket legend Darren Stevens wins a trophy with his final match in professional cricket

Lancashire lost by 21 runs in the Royal London Cup Final at Trent Bridge after being bowled out for 285 by Kent Spitfires.

Kent batted first and big scores from Joey Evison and Joe Denly saw them post 306-6 from their 50 overs.

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Despite a spirited knock from captain Keaton Jennings, Lancashire fell short of victory and head back to Old Trafford empty handed.

A moving rendition of ‘Abide With Me’ got this Royal London One Day Cup Final off to a poignant start, with everyone in Trent Bridge reflecting on the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The first version of ‘God Save The King’ at Trent Bridge since the beginning of King Charles III reign then filled the ground, and the match was ready to get underway.

Kent Spitfires won the toss and elected to bowl, which was unsurprising on what was a very sunny, clear day in Nottingham.

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Ben Compton and Joey Evison opened the batting for the Spitfires - while Tom Bailey opened the bowling for Lancashire.

It took Bailey just four balls of this final to make the breakthrough, Compton edged a wide delivery to gully and the Spitfires were 0-1.

Ollie Robinson took guard at the crease, hoping to last longer in the middle than the previous occupant.

Will Williams picked up the ball from the Radcliffe Road End - with the final ball of his over Robinson drove the ball back down the ground for the first four of the final.

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Kent had made a timid start following the early wicket, and after 5 overs were on 15-1, 11 of those runs coming via the bat of Robinson.

Evison kicked off the sixth oer with a beautifully weighted knock down to the longest boundary at Trent Bridge for four runs.

Evison then looked to go up and over in the seventh over, luckily for him his lofty effort fell just short of the man at mid off.

Joe Denly of Kent bats during the Royal London Cup Final between  Kent Spitfires and Lancashire at Trent Bridge on September 17, 2022 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)Joe Denly of Kent bats during the Royal London Cup Final between  Kent Spitfires and Lancashire at Trent Bridge on September 17, 2022 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Joe Denly of Kent bats during the Royal London Cup Final between Kent Spitfires and Lancashire at Trent Bridge on September 17, 2022 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Robinson looked keen to get the runs flowing, and he hit a superb effort back past the bowler and down towards the media centre for four, he was looking in very good touch.

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He went in the same direction two balls later, but didn’t quite get the timing this time and it was two runs rather than four.

A cut shot through mid off did pierce the infield and run away for four, taking Robinson to 23 and Kent to 32-1 from eight overs.

A wide delivery from Bailey was cracked through the covers for four by Evison as the pair looked to build towards a solid total.

40-1 from nine overs constituted a solid start from the Spitfires.

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Robinson opened up with two boundaries in the 11th over, including one aerial shot that flew away to the ropes.

50 for Kent came up from 64 deliveries, the early wicket feeling like a distant memory now.

In the 13th over, Evison took the aerial route and it paid off - four more runs to both his and Kent’s total.

Robinson was rattling towards a well deserved half century, and he moved onto 40 with a lofted drive away for four.

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Then, a huge breakthrough for Lancashire. Robinson edged behind off the bowling of Hurt and wicketkeeper George Lavelle made a superb one handed catch.

Robinson went for a hard fought 43, captain Joe Denly was next up and the Spitfires were 79-2 from 16.3 overs.

Evison went aerial again and had just enough on the ball to get it up and over the fielder for four..

20 overs int their innings, Kent had battled their way to 93-2, Evison picking up where Robinson had left off.

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His calm and collected aerial drive went over the infield and away for four, the opener now within two of his 50.

However, he almost didn’t reach it.

Liam Hurt of Lancashire celebrates with Steven Croft after dismissing Ollie Robinson of Kent during the Royal London Cup Final between  Kent Spitfires and Lancashire at Trent Bridge on September 17, 2022 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)Liam Hurt of Lancashire celebrates with Steven Croft after dismissing Ollie Robinson of Kent during the Royal London Cup Final between  Kent Spitfires and Lancashire at Trent Bridge on September 17, 2022 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Liam Hurt of Lancashire celebrates with Steven Croft after dismissing Ollie Robinson of Kent during the Royal London Cup Final between Kent Spitfires and Lancashire at Trent Bridge on September 17, 2022 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

He was trapped LBW by Hurt and was given out by the umpire, but the decision was overturned on review. A lifeline for Evison.

In the 23rd over, Evison reached his 50 with a delicate edge down to third man, his milestone came off 72 balls.

The Kent 100 came up shortly after from a single off Joe Denly.

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The first attacking shot from Denly just about reached the boundary for four runs as the Kent captain moved into double figures.

At the halfway stage of their innings, Kent had reached 111-2 with Evison looking to take the match to Lancashire.

A beautiful swiped hit flew off to the boundary for another Joe Denly four as Kent tried to take advantage of the spin of Luke Wells.

The Kent captain was hitting his stride and he charged down the pitch to hit Williams away to the boundary in back to back balls to move onto 28 from just 25 balls.

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Wells continued to be targeted, and the final ball of his fifth over was tucked away for four by Evison who moved onto 60.

In his next over, Denly made the most of a flighted delivery to hit another four, this one falling just short of being a maximum.

30 overs gone and Kent were 145-2, Denly and Evison were well set to push on towards what you would think would be a defendable total on this pitch of around the 300 mark.

The 150 for Kent was brought up in the 31st over thanks to a two from Joe Denly who moved onto 41.

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Hurt came back into the attack and was drilled away for four with his first ball by Evison, the Kent opener then looked to the leg side and flicked away a consecutive boundary to move onto 72.

A third four of a fruitful over came courtesy of Denly as the fourth wicket partnership edged towards 100 - 15 runs came from the 32nd over.

Steven Croft was the next spinner to be targeted by Evison, and 10 runs from two balls (including the first six of the day) moved the opener onto 84.

The 100 partnership was brought up from just over 100 balls - a steady building job from Evison and Denly.

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Denly’s 50 came at a run a ball, the captain leading his team by example. A big score looked likely now with two in form batters at the crease for Kent.

A flick off the pads from Evison off the bowling of Lamb moved the opener into the 90s and Kent towards 200.

Evison edged towards a much deserved century in singles off Lamb, and he was being well suported by his captain.

Lancashire felt that Evison had got a glove on a ball that went through to the keeper and went upstairs for a review, however the DRS showed that the batter had got nothing on the ball.

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Danny Lamb of Lancashire celebrates dismissing Joey Evison of Kent Danny Lamb of Lancashire celebrates dismissing Joey Evison of Kent
Danny Lamb of Lancashire celebrates dismissing Joey Evison of Kent

However, Evison wouldn’t reach three figures as the very next ball he was clean bowled by Lamb. He left the pitch to a huge applause having scored 97 from 111 deliveries. Kent 212-3.

The new man in for Kent was Alex Blake. With Denly still at the crease, you would fancy Kent would still push on towards a more than respectable total.

Denly did keep up the tempo, hitting his seventh four of the day in the 38th over.

Blake looked to open up early, and his first four was struck sweetly over the infield. The next over saw Blake cut away Williams to the boundary, a shot that took Kent past 23.

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With 10 overs remaining, Kent had reached 236-3. If they were to maintain the exact same run rate, they would finish on 295.

A flick off his pads moved Denly onto 78, but the next ball saw his off stump tumbled by Liam Hurt who picked up his second wicket of the day.

Denly departed for 78 from 69 balls and Kent were 245-4 with nine overs remaning. This brought Darren Stevens to the crease for possibly the last time in professional cricket.

Stevens flicked a four off his pads, much to the delight of Kent supporters all around Trent Bridge. The runs also moved Kent past the 250 mark.

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A loose delivery from Bailey in the 44th over was leathered away for six by Blake as 300 looked on the cards for the Spitfires.

Blake was caught after a top edge was held by the keeper, however Hurt had bowled a no ball and Blake was able to stay at the crease.

Blake was living a charmed life, and he should have been caught on the boundary by Wells but was dropped - the ball also trickled away for four to add insult to Lancashire injury.

Joe Denly of Kent is bowled by Liam Hurt of Lancashire during the Royal London Cup FinalJoe Denly of Kent is bowled by Liam Hurt of Lancashire during the Royal London Cup Final
Joe Denly of Kent is bowled by Liam Hurt of Lancashire during the Royal London Cup Final

An overthrow gave another run to Kent, and Lancashire were starting to look sloppy in the field.

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Stevens was then dropped almost on the boundary by Wells, although this was a much tougher chance.

Blake’s luck finally did run out when he was caught on the ropes - he went for a quick fire 38, this brought Grant Stewart to the middle and Kent were 284-5 with 20 balls left.

Some poor running led to Stewart being run out for just one run as the Kent innings looked like it was fizzling out. Harry Finish came to the middle with Kent 288-6 with 15 balls left of the innings.

Stevens was now getting the luck as his lofty effort was dropped by Keaton Jennings - Lancashire were having a day in the field to forget.

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A four down the ground from Stevens brought up the Kent 300, and they ended their innings on 306-6.

Keaton Jennings and Luke Wells opened for Lancashire against the new ball - which was first held by Stewart.

A loose ball from Stewart was punished by Jennings who guided the ball along the ground all the way for four.

Jennings opened the blade once again in the second over for his second boundary of the afternoon.

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Wells had his first boundary from a stand and deliver type drive back down the ground, both openers looked to start positively and so far - they were doing this.

More composed shot selections from both openers had Lancashire ticking along at 28-0 from almost four overs.

Keaton Jennings of Lancashire bats during the Royal London Cup Final Keaton Jennings of Lancashire bats during the Royal London Cup Final
Keaton Jennings of Lancashire bats during the Royal London Cup Final

The pick of the fourth innings came from Jennings, who created space for himself to strike the ball perfectly between the infield men and away for four.

The strong opening partnership of 40 was broken by Stewart when Wells could only knock the ball straight back to the bowler - he was out for 16 from 14.

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Lancashire 40-1 and Josh Bohannon joined Jennings out in the middle - the sun still beating down on Trent Bridge.

Five overs gone and despite the wicket, Lancashire were going along well in reply to Kent’s 306.

Jennings wasn’t letting his foot off the gas and a well timed pull shot crashed away for four, taking him to 32 from just 22 deliveries.

Daren Stevens came into the attack, but his first ball was cut away for another Keaton Jennings four.

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A strong start had Lancashire 63-1 after 10 overs, 246 more required to take the trophy back to Manchester.

In the 12th over Bohannon, who never really got going, flicked the ball down the leg side straight into the hands of Stewart. He departed for five from 21 balls with Lancashire 71-2.

Steven Croft joined his captain at the crease.

Harry Podmore’s bowling was proving difficult to carve runs out of, his first three overs had figures of one wicket for seven runs.

Jennings reached a well deserved 50 from 44 balls in the 15th over, but at the other end Croft looked unsettled on 0 from 10 balls - he finally got off the mark with his 12th ball.

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He kept moving his side forward with a beautiful flick around the corner that ran away towards the vacant third man area for four.

Jennings scored 71 runs in the cup finalJennings scored 71 runs in the cup final
Jennings scored 71 runs in the cup final

With the last ball of the 17th over Croft opened up and went on the charge for his first four of the innings - a shot that would surely ease some nerves.

The following over saw both Jennings and Croft add well taken boundaries to their score - moving Lancashire past 100.

In the 21st over Jennings swept the ball away for four and moved onto 71. Unfortunately in the following over he gave away his wicket very cheaply with a soft chip to midwicket.

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He departed for 71 from 63 balls, his side now 125-3 and Dane Vilas next in to bat.

After his slow start Croft settled quickly and in the 24th over he had moved into the 30s.

Half way through the response, Lancashire were 139-3. A late afternoon lull swept over the match, wth Lancshire keeping within touching distance of their victory target. 165 needed from 24 overs.

The Kent breakthrough finally came in the 29th over as Vilas dragged the ball back onto his own stumps. 153-4 and Rob Jones the next man in.

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With 20 overs left to play, the target was down to 146 for Lancashire.

Getting the ball away to the boundary was proving difficult for both Jones and Croft, and this was causing the pressure on the batting team to rise.

In the 35th over they did get the elusive boundary, and it took Croft to 50 from 71 balls.

In London buses fashion, Croft hit the next ball for four too - moving Lancashire onto 188-4 and 119 from victory.

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The first ball of the 36th over was swept away for four by Croft and you could just sense that the Red Rose was starting to turn the screw.

A second Croft boundary of the over took Lancashire over 200 and Croft to 69 from 79 balls. The 50 partnership came up from 45 balls and it was looking priceless.

100 needed from 13 overs and Lancashire were in the driving seat.

Liam Hurt of Lancashire bowls during the Royal London Cup FinalLiam Hurt of Lancashire bowls during the Royal London Cup Final
Liam Hurt of Lancashire bowls during the Royal London Cup Final

In a final, you sometimes need a moment of magic to drag yourselves back into contention.

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Alex Blake gave this a good go with a superb catch in the covers to help dismiss Croft for 72.

212-5, 95 from 68 needed and George Lavelle into the fray. Game on, it would seem.

With 10 overs remaining, Lancashire needed 89 runs for the trophy, and they had five wickets remaining.

That was until the sixth wicket fell. Lavelle tried to go big but all he could do was balloon an effort straight up into the sky. Evison kept hold of the ball and Lavelle had to go - Lamb the new man in for Lancashire.

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84 runs from nine overs with four wickets left made it look as through the two at the crease, Jones and Lamb, would need to get the majority of the remaining required runs if Lancashire were to get the job done.

A four from Lamb got this theory off to a good start.

A four and then a six in the 43rd over from Lamb lifted the nerves around the Lancashire camp considerably - the required runs down to 65 from 44 balls.

Kent then struck again with some outstanding catching.

Lamb was looking to go long but his effort towards the boundary was caught superbly by Gilchrist. Tom Bailey joined Jones in the middle with Lancashire in need of 59 from 39 balls.

In the very same over, the eighth Lancashire wicket came. Jones was draped LBW by Stewart, Jones took the review but DRS confirmed that he was out. This match was slipping through Lancashire fingers. 249-8 with Liam Hurt next in.

Nathan Gilchrist of Kent celebrates dismissing George LavelleNathan Gilchrist of Kent celebrates dismissing George Lavelle
Nathan Gilchrist of Kent celebrates dismissing George Lavelle

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The Lancashire tail would need to start taking risks, and Gilchirst was bowling smart to make sure this didn’t pay off.

Heading into the final five overs, Lancashire needed 49 for victory at just a smidge under 10 runs an over.

Catch of the season contender? Not quite. The one handed grab was superb - but on review it was judged to have hit the floor. Unlucky for Kent, but victory was close now.

Lancashire required 44 from the final four overs, a target which even experienced batters would often struggle to reach.

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A four from Bailey moved him onto 16 - but the next ball he was bowled with a beauty of a yorker from Gilchrist. 267-9 and the end was in sight.

The last man in for Lancashire was Will Williams, he came into the most impossible of tasks.

With two overs remaining, Lancashire needed 27 runs for victory. It was in the hands of last stand Liam Hurt and Will Williams now.

Lancashire fell 22 runs short of victory as Hurt was bowled. The One Day Cup Trophy heads south to Canterbury.

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