Royal London Cup Final Kent v Lancashire September 17th

Neil Whitaker reports

KENT Spitfires won their first one day cup final in nine attempts as they beat Lancashire Lightning by 21 runs with eight balls to spare at Trent Bridge.

Former Nottinghamshire player Joey  Evison failed by three runs to hit a century on his return to Trent Bridge but he still top scored for Kent Spitfires. With the ball he took two wickets and held a catch in the deep.  The difference between the two sides was their outfilding, the Lightning dropped catches while the Spitfires didn’t.

He said: “It’s always nice to play at Trent Bridge, I had a good time here and to play a final here was really special.  I left Nottinghamshire because of the lack of opportunities so it was nice to show the Kent fans what I can do.  

It was disappointing to get out three short of my century but if you told me at the start of the day that I would score 97, take two wickets and a catch I would have taken it.  We thought 306 was a little over par  but it’s always a good wicket at Trent Bridge.  I think we outfielded them.”

Lightning captain Keaton Jennings said: “We had opportunities to win the game but unfortunately we weren’t good enough.  We’ve lost two finals this season and it’s a tough pill to swallow.  We thought their score was about par  so we didn’t think that it would be easy to knock the runs off, we just lost wickets at regular intervals.”

Lancashire thought they had Evison caught down the legside but it wasn’t given so they reviewed it which they lost. Maybe the time it took to come to a decision broke his concentration because the next ball he was comprehensively bowled by Danny Lamb. His 97 came from 111 balls and included 14 fours surprisingly Evison  didn’t  hit a boundary till the sixth over when he clipped Will Williams off his toes.  With his captain Joe  Denly they added 133 in 20 overs for the second wicket.

Evison was given out leg before on 48 to Liam Hurt but after a discussion with Denly they just managed to review it in time.  The review showed it to be missing. He  chipped Luke  Wells straight back just avoiding giving a return catch and the ball skipped to the boundary.  The chip shot became the favourite shot for both Evison and Denly.  Evison chipped Lamb over mid off and the ball did enough to keep Keaton Jennings interested in a catch but managed to beat him and run to the boundary.

He reached his fifty when he dabbed Hurt to third man for a single which came from 72 balls and included nine boundaries it also brought up the Spitfires hundred.  He backed away from Wells and smashed a short ball to the extra cover boundary.

Evison backed away from Wells and smashed a short ball to the extra cover boundary.  He paddled a slower ball from Lamb to the fine leg boundary. Denly brought up his third Royal London fifty which  came at a run a ball and included six fours.  He went down the pitch to Wells and lofted him over long on for a six to bring up Kent’s two hundred.

Denly, a player who was dropped from England for being a slow batter, found boundaries easy to come by. He drove Wells to the mid wicket boundary. When he was joined by Nathan  Blake, he did the right thing by rotating the strike and getting Denly on strike. Denly enjoyed finding the boundaries he blasted Hurt to the extra cover boundary and flat batted Steven  Croft for a six over extra cover.

With the Lightning looking ragard in the field Denly played across the line to Hurt and was bowled to give the Lightning players a lift.

Once again Darren  Stevens belied his years  and hit an unbeaten 33. He toe ended a drive off Williams but found Wells on the long on boundary who dropped the ball as he fell.  He skied Lamb in the final over and Jennings was under it but looked at Wells, Wells who had dropped two, looked at Jennings and Jennings dropped a sitter.  Stevens in the final over  thumped Lamb to long on boundary.

A slow ball  from Tom Bailey slipped out of his hand  and Blake flat batted it one handed for the biggest six of Kent’s innings.  Blake clipped Hurt off his legs but he found Wells on the boundary but he parried it over.  The Lightning got him when he clipped Bailey to  Rob Jones on the mid wicket boundary but as he fell over the rope he threw the ball to Jennings to complete the catch.

Grant Stewart cut Lamb to  Croft chipped at point only to find Stevens  running down the pitch but Stewart was run out by Croft’s direct hit.

After winning the toss and deciding to bat the Spitfires lost their first wicket to the fourth ball of the match.  Another former Nottinghamshire opener Ben Compton sliced a drive off Bailey to Croft at backward point.

Stumper Ollie Robinson got the Spitfires innings moving when he blasted Williams to the long off boundary. When Williams switched to the Pavillion end, Robinson pulled his first ball to the mid wicket boundary.  Hurt got one to nip back at Robinson, found the inside edge and stumper George  Lavelle took a tumbling catch moving to his left.

The Lightning openers raced to 36 in four overs with Jennings hitting Nathan Gilchrist for three consecutive boundaries in different areas.  But Wells’ poor day was compounded when he drilled Stewart back to the bowler who took a return catch.

Jennings pulled Gilchrist with disdain to bring up the Lightning’s fifty in the eighth over.  On 41 he nearly gave a return catch to Stevens but it was too hot for Stevens to handle and the ball ran to the boundary.  He reached his fifty which came from 44 balls with eight fours when he cut Stevens for a single.

Jennings walked across his stumps and deftly swept Stevens to the fine leg boundary; if he had missed it he would have been plumb leg before. He later scooped Stevens to the fine leg boundary.   He spooned Hamidullag Qadri to Blake at cover.

Stumper Robinson ran for the ball, picked up the ball and threw it in.  Harry Finch put on his glove to take the return but he is not allowed to wear stumpers’ gloves, only the stumper is allowed to wear the gloves and Lancashire were awarded five penalty runs.

Josh Bohannon clipped Harry Podmore  off his toes and Stewart running in from the fine leg boundary took a good low catch.

Croft lofted Stevens over the reach of  mid on for a four and in the next over he pulled Podmore for another four.

Evison, who Kent signed as a replacement for Stevens, came on to bowl and his first over only cost him a single.  In his third over he got the wicket of  Dane Vilas who tried to pull him but got a bottom edge and dragged it on.

Croft threw off the shackles that had been created by Evison, Denly and Qadri by hitting two consecutive fours off Evison. In the next over he hit three boundaries off Denly as he brought up the Lightning’s two hundred.

Just as it looked like Croft would see the Lightning home he bottom edged a pull of Gilchrist to Blake at mid wicket who took a spectacular catch reminiscent of Jack Bond’s catch for Lancashire against Kent in the 1971 final.

Lavelle hit Gilchrist high in the air on the legside and one of three Kent fielders could have taken the catch and it was that man Evison coming in from the mid wicket boundary who took the catch.

Lamb top edged Gilchrist for a four and a six off the next ball.  In the next over he pulled Stewart over square leg and looked certain to be a six. Gilchrist flung himself to his right and took a spectacular catch.  Two balls later the Spitfires thought they had Jones leg before but he reviewed. The replay showed it to be hitting middle.

With 43 needed from four overs Bailey managed to get his bat on the ball and guided it to the boundary but Gilchrist yorked him the next ball.  Hurt pulled Stewart to the mid wicket boundary, two from the next ball. From two overs the Lightning needed 27.  It was that man Evison who wrapped the match up when he yorked Hurt.


September 18, 2022 11:08 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *