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Royal London Cup Final preview

Kent and Lancashire will battle it out at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Saturday to become the latest winners of the Royal London Cup.

Last summer Glamorgan prevailed against Durham in the final, but they were unable to progress from Group B in this season's competition, with both Kent and Lancs qualifying from that section - along with Hampshire.


Kent vs. Lancashire, Royal London Cup final


Trent Bridge, Nottingham


11:00, Saturday 17th September, 2022

How to watch

Sky Sports Cricket


Kent 6/5, Lancashire 4/6

Group stage clash too close to call

Lancashire took second place in Group B behind Hants as they won five of their eight games, while Kent edged out both Glamorgan and Yorkshire by a single point.

And the crucial victory for the Canterbury outfit came against Lancs as the hosts squeezed home by two wickets on their own patch - chasing down a victory target of 296 with just one ball to spare.

A knock of 81 from Alex Blake looked like it would not be enough as Kent were reduced to 190-6, before Darren Stevens, Harry Finch and Grant Stewart made valuable contributions to allow Harry Podmore to strike the winning boundary.

News that Yorkshire had been beaten by Hampshire then confirmed that Kent would move on to the knockout stages.

Red Rose batting comes to the party

Lancashire looked every inch the team to beat when the knockout games arrived, as they first sealed a nerve-racking three-wicket win over Nottinghamshire at Blackpool.

Notts might well have thought they had done enough as they made 338-8 from their 50 overs, but the hosts then powered home with nine balls to spare, with Steven Croft making a superb 115 not out from 105 balls faced.

In the semis the Red Rose batting fired again as they made 319-8 at Hove and restricted hosts Sussex to 254 all out to win by 65 runs, with Dane Vilas the star of the show with 121.

Veteran Vilas missed most of the group stage of the tournament, but is now back in the fold and adds to a potent line-up which also includes former England opener Keaton Jennings and international hopeful Josh Bohannon, who is 5/1 to be top team batter on Saturday.

Kent batters also show up

Just as Lancashire's batters shone when they were needed, so too did Kent's, as they passed the 300-mark in their knockout victories over Leicestershire and Hampshire.

A consistent top-order showing was enough to see off the Foxes by 81 in the quarter-finals, with skipper Joe Denly top-scoring with 65 as the visitors made 325-8 at Grace Road.

An even more impressive effort came in the last four as Kent chased down 311 to win with an over to spare at the Rose Bowl,

Ollie Robinson - 3/1 to be top team batter in Nottingham - led the way with 95, before Kent legend Stevens smacked 84 from 65 deliveries to see his side home and set up a potentially perfect send-off at Trent Bridge as he finally finishes a truly amazing career.

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Bowlers still a crucial part of success

For Kent, young off-spinner Hamid Qadri has been an outstanding success in this competition, taking 14 wickets at an average of 32.50 and an economy rate of 5.90 and he is 2/1 to be top team bowler on Saturday.

Seamer Nathan Gilchrist has offered good support in claiming 11 wickets, while captain Denly has snared eight victims with his often under-rated leg-spin.

Seamers Danny Lamb and Liam Hurt have starred with the ball for Lancs, taking 13 wickets each, while Tom Bailey has been his usual consistent self as he has claimed ten wickets.

Jennings enjoys that winning feeling

Lancs skipper Jennings is happy that his side have reached the showpiece final and believes that they have done so without stringing together a perfect performance.

He told his county's official website: "Guys have found a way to win. I don't think we've had too many perfect performances, which in many ways is not a bad thing."

All-rounder Joey Evison, who is currently on loan with Kent from Notts struck a similar note, as he added: "We've managed to win games from positions where the opposition was in the driving seat really."

Stevens deserves the final word

Of course much of the attention on Saturday will focus on the astounding Stevens, who is averaging over 100 in the tournament, making 217 runs at a superb strike-rate of 132, with the veteran 1/1 to be player of the match in Nottingham.

The 46-year-old all-rounder has yet to take a wicket across his five games in the Royal London Cup this summer and will be desperate to improve on that record and help Kent claim silverware on his final outing, having moved to Canterbury way back in 2005.

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