|Royal London One-Day Cup Final, Trent Bridge|
|Kent 306-6: Evison 97, Denly 78; Bailey 2-46|
|Lancashire 285: Croft 72, Jennings 71; Stewart 3-42|
|Kent beat Lancashire by 21 runs|
Kent kept his composure with three brilliant match-winning catches as he won the One-Day Cup by 21 runs in Lancashire at Trent Bridge to claim his first List A trophy since 1978.
Lancashire looked victorious when Keaton Jennings (72) and Steven Croft (72) were in full swing.
But Croft went to a brilliant catch from Alex Blake as he was left on 285.
While Blake’s stunning catch turned the contest around, Evison of the match also took two wickets, including the key one of Dane Vilas, who slotted in through deep mid-wicket to remove George Lavelle for another blinder.
Nathan Gilchrist ended Danny Lamb’s last spirited resistance with a stunning third on the square-leg boundary.
It was in stark contrast to Lancashire’s sloppy pitching and lack of risk-taking, which allowed Kent to post their fifth 300-plus in nine games this season.
Darren Stevens, almost certainly playing his last game On 46 for Kent, he scored an unbeaten 33 and bowled a tidy eight for 44.
But he was on the sidelines, nursing a groin injury, when Kent finally secured victory to end an unwanted run of eight List A defeats.
And on the day Evison, 20, was Kent’s main man and ended the competition, it was an almost symbolic handing over of the reins.
Switched from Lord’s to Trent Bridge to end Kent’s losing streak, Lancashire have not won a List A trophy since 1998. And, losing the T20 Blast against Hampshire at Edgbaston in July brought a bad end to an already dismal season. per week, in which their six-point docking Repeated infractions on the pitch effectively ended their bid for the regional Championship as well.
Kent has bounced back after a bad start
Tom Bailey struck with only the fourth ball of the match when left-arm Ben Compton carved the gap, and Croft held on comfortably with a catch over his head. But Kent rallied well as Ollie Robinson came in to help Evison share the 78 spot.
When Liam Hurt cut Robinson in two, he looked like he had hit something as he passed to the keeper Lavelle, who stretched out an arm to make a brilliant catch to his left, but he didn’t. one or pad was hard to tell.
In any case, it mattered little as skipper Joe Denly came in to put together a stand of 133 with Evison in 20 overs.
But Evison lost a ton when Danny Lamb was sacked, Hurt was sacked by Denly, Alex Blake drilled a long catch from the Rob Jones/Keaton Jennings relay and Grant Stewart got into a mix-up with Stevens.
In reply, Lancashire embarked on a flight, hitting 40 off the first 25 balls before Luke Wells took a return catch to Stewart.
After being well ahead in the run-rate comparisons at the end of the 10-over Powerplay stage, Kent’s bowlers made it tight.
Josh Bohannon never drilled fine leg and then came the big wicket of Jennings, spooning a catch at extra cover in the 72nd over.
Vilas also failed to find his touch before the game after misjudging a pull attempt.
Croft and Rob Jones looked set to take Lancashire home in a 59-run stand.
But Croft’s lofted pull took Blake out of the air – as good as Lancashire skipper Jack Bond’s one-handed catch to remove Asif Iqbal when these two sides met in a final 51 years ago.
As in 1971, he was a real man of the match, Evison coming in from the boundary to dive in another stunning catch to remove Lavelle – and then Gilchrist took it to remove Lamb. And, although Lancashire’s last pair took him to the 49th over, the result was already lost.