Royal London Cup: Steven Croft’s unbeaten ton fires Lancashire into semis, Kent to meet Hampshire in last four

Veteran Steven Croft was the star of the show for Lancashire as his unbeaten 115 saw them beat Nottinghamshire in thrilling Royal London One-Day Cup quarter-final; Joe Denly top scores as Kent cruise into last four at Leicestershire’s expense

Last Updated: 26/08/22 8:44pm

Steven Croft was the hero for Lancashire in their Royal London Cup quarter-final win against Nottinghamshire

An unbeaten century from Steven Croft fired Lancashire into the last four of the Royal London One-Day Cup on Friday, while Kent booked a last-four clash with Hampshire with an 81-run over Leicestershire.

On his 600th appearance in all forms of cricket, 37-year-old Croft’s unbeaten 115 was the difference at Blackpool to help Lancashire chase down another 300-plus total to earn victory.

A 98-run opening stand between centurion Ben Slater and Sol Budinger (56) helped Nottinghamshire to a total of 338-8 from their 50 overs, putting them in a strong position to progress.

But after Croft’s heroics, supported by a key seventh-wicket stand with Danny Lamb, Lancashire became the first of the seven sides to chase down a total of 300 or more to do it twice in this year’s competition.

Lamb came to the crease with the hosts looking a little rocky on 237-6 in the 38th over. He holed out with eight still needed to win off 13 balls, but Croft finished the job with a boundary.

“It’s a very nice feeling to be there at the end and get the lads through to the semi-final,” Croft said. “White-ball wise, this is going to be up there for me. An unbeaten hundred on your home ground to get through to the semi-finals is something I won’t forget.”

Lancashire will play Sussex in the last four.

Joe Denly was top scorer for Kent in their victory at Leicestershire

Joe Denly was top scorer for Kent in their victory at Leicestershire

Kent’s place in the semi finals against Hampshire never looked in doubt as they dominated Leicestershire at Grace Road.

Openers Joey Evison (62) and Ben Compton (56) put on 95 for the first wicket and captain Joe Denly’s 65 off 51 balls then ensured the visitors set an imposing total of 325-8 from their 50 overs.

In reply, Harry Podmore took the first three wickets to reduce Leicestershire to 77-3 before Grant Stewart finished off the tail with 4-42 as the hosts were bowled out for 244 in the 43rd over.

The win prolongs the Kent white-ball career of 46-year-old all-rounder Darren Stevens – who was playing against his hometown club – for at least one more match as they head for the Ageas Bowl on Tuesday.

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