Joey Evison claims the day as Kent lift Royal London Cup

Kent 306 for six (Evison 97, Denly 78) beat Lancashire 285 (Croft 72, Jennings 71, Stewart 3-42, Gilchrist 3-65) by 21 runs

Out with the outdated, in with the brand new. In a match billed as Darren Stevens’ farewell, Kent claimed a 21-run victory within the remaining of the Royal London Cup because the participant finest positioned to take up Stevens’ mantle, Joey Evison, took the plaudits with a memorable all-round show.

Evison, who was loaned out to Kent by Nottinghamshire for the Royal London Cup forward of a three-year deal, made a triumphant return to Trent Bridge. He adopted up a composed innings of 97 with an outfield catch at a vital interval and a yorker to complete it in a nerveless penultimate over to stymie Lancashire’s pursuit of 307.

Peter Moores, Nottinghamshire’s coach, was pissed off by Evison’s departure, however the creation of The Hundred, and the present standing of the 50-over match as a developmental competitors has created circumstances by which proficient younger gamers are extra bold than ever to quicken their careers.

Within the frantic closing overs, two different paragraphs had been vying to be written – they usually each concerned Derbyshire being effectively crushed in a Listing A remaining. The related one turned out to be Kent’s first Listing A triumph since 1978, a prosaic, low-scoring affair even for these instances by which Derbyshire made solely 147 – 4 wickets for John Shepherd – and Bob Woolmer’s sedate 79 accomplished a six-wicket win.

Crucially, Kent’s outfielding was vastly superior to Lancashire’s within the second half of their innings with Alex Blake, Evison and Nathan Gilchrist all holding sharp catches, a distinction to some slipshod moments within the area that left common Lancashire observers aghast. Evison was denied the most effective catch of all, a one-handed affair off Grant Stewart to dismiss Liam Harm for nought, however the ball brushed the bottom and additional rigidity ensued earlier than Evison yorked Harm eight balls from the tip and Kent may declare victory.

T20 Finals Day has lengthy usurped the 50-over remaining as county cricket’s one-day jamboree, however greater than 9,000 turned out to observe the fruits of a diminished competitors which a minimum of was again in its rightful place in early September because the Championship additionally reaches its climax.

13 gamers concerned in The Hundred had been absent. Kent omitted their septet as a deliberate present of religion to those that had taken them to the ultimate. Lancashire had no such compunction, however misplaced three to England, Liam Livingstone to harm and omitted their spinners Matt Parkinson and Tom Hartley.

Keaton Jennings batted with such consolation {that a} match-defining innings gave the impression to be on the playing cards, however he fell for 71 (64) within the softest method as he patted the legspinner Hamidullah Qadri to brief further and stood immobile in disbelief for a number of seconds.

Jennings has led Lancashire ably over 50 overs this summer season. It’s practically 4 years since he performed the final of his 17 Assessments, however 30 or not he’s a succesful cricketer and responsive chief and there could be far worse decisions as a back-up opener in Pakistan.

At 126 for 3 within the twenty second over, and 181 extra wanted at 6.3 an over, the match was keenly balanced, and Lancashire misplaced a second batter of equable temperament in stress conditions when Dane Vilas dragged on attempting to drag Evison. Fourteen overs handed and not using a boundary as Evison and Qadri took management.

Steven Croft then broke free, taking 4 boundaries off successive overs from Evison and Qadri to comb previous his 50. It appeared that, in any case, the story could be a couple of veteran participant anxious for a brand new contract, nonetheless it will not be in regards to the man who had attracted all of the headlines, Darren Stevens, however Croft, a mere stripling at 37. However the match swung once more as Croft hauled Gilchrist to mid on; George Lavelle, aiming for deep midwicket, picked out the diving Evison; and Gilchrist held one other thrilling diving catch at deep backward sq. to take away Rob Jones.

Lancashire’s bowling assault had been brief on choices in comparison with Kent’s with sixth-bowler duties left to Croft, a redoubtable skilled over many seasons, however somebody who had bowled solely 15 overs of offspin within the competitors and whose staccato round-arm supply steered a prescription of useful stretches could be so as.

Kent had misplaced a wicket after 4 balls and the id of the batter decided the character of their progress. It was Ben Compton, an opener of prudence, who steered a large supply from Tom Bailey to backward level, leaving Ollie Robinson to fulsomely carry the combat. Robinson’s future at Kent won’t be decided till the tip of the season – in addition to this cup remaining he would possibly effectively be drafted right into a relegation scrap – with Durham outstanding amongst his suitors. He took a liking to Will Williams, unafraid to loft him over mid-off, however he was silenced on 43 when the wicketkeeper Lavelle held a wonderful, one-handed diving catch off an inside edge. His 534 runs at 66.75 is a runs tally outdone solely by Stephen Eskinazi and Cheteshwar Pujara. The participant of the match, although, went to Leicestershire’s South African Wiaan Mulder.

Evison performed with nice discernment for his 97, most of his 14 fours and one six struck down the bottom – a favorite space – and his one unsure second approaching 47 when Lancashire’s overview for an lbw verdict for Liam Harm narrowly failed.

As Moores likely gnashed his enamel in anticipation of an Evison century, he was dismissed three runs brief, courtesy maybe of some well-judged Lancashire professionalism. Lancashire’s overview for a glove down the leg aspect off Danny Lamb was predictably overturned when replays confirmed the ball had brushed Evison’s hip, however because the seconds ticked by Lancashire had time to seize a drink and regroup and Evison had extra time for reflection than was good for him. Lamb’s subsequent ball, a slower inswinger, rattled into center stump as he missed it by a distance. Joe Denly‘s 78 from 69 balls carried Kent by the center overs, free of an unsure begin by some canny forays down the pitch.

There was to be no flamboyant finale for Stevens, whose memorable match-winning exploits, at 46, had carried Kent into the ultimate and received him many headlines. “Stevo is God” proclaimed a Flag of St George banner within the Fox Highway stand, however as a lot as Godlike standing at Kent is to not be sniffed at, he hankers extra after a player-coach deal wherever he can get one. He managed solely eight overs of his spell earlier than leaving the sector with a broken groin.

His unbeaten 32 from 31 had been a little bit of a mercy as a result of his contact largely escaped him. He was twice the beneficiary as Lancashire’s fielding fell aside within the remaining hour. His first material down the bottom was fumbled by Luke Wells at lengthy on; Jennings drop of a skier to cowl was rather more culpable. He was additionally the responsible occasion within the run out of Stewart, desperate to regain the strike after Stewart pushed the ball straight to Croft at level. A flawed legend on this event then, however a legend all the identical.

David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps

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