Destination Trent Bridge

The Royal London One Day Cup Final heads to blighty tomorrow as Kent Spitfires take on Lancashire in the showpiece premiere 50 over competition in English cricket at Trent Bridge.

The tournament in recent years has diminished in value no thanks to the introductions of even shorter formats in the domestic game, T20 & Hundred ball have seemingly taken all the TV & sponsorship revenue, but reaching the final, and facing off at the business end, is still special to the players involved, a competition won memorably by Nottinghamshire against Surrey at Lords in 2017, a final staged for the second successive year in Nottingham after Glamorgan beat Durham last year by 58 runs.

This season, both Kent & Lancashire contested in the same group stage, finishing third and second respectively in Group B, below table toppers Hampshire who Kent saw off in the semi-finals.

Against each other in Canterbury, Kent were victors by two wickets as an Alex Blake 81 helped chase down a 295 Lancashire total, George Balderson that day top scoring with 106 not out for the red roses, losing with just one ball to spare.

If the final is anything to go by it will be a classic. Kent’s Darren Stevens at 46-years-old is looking to bow out on a fabulous career with some silverware this season, Lancashire captain Keaton Jennings stating that leading out his side will be a “huge highlight” of his career.

Lancashire actually knocked-out Nottinghamshire in the Quarter Finals in Blackpool. A Ben Slater century helped Notts to a decent target of 338 but their hosts were even more impressive with the bat, Steven Croft hitting 115 to send his side through.

In the semi-finals they beat Sussex thanks largely to a Dane Vilas 121. Totalling 319 for 8 in their 50 overs they bowled out their hosts for just 254.

Kent themselves were convincing, after seeing off Leicestershire by 81 runs in the quarter-finals they beat Hampshire at the Rose Bowl by three wickets. Ollie Robinson hitting 95 off 89 balls to help chase down their hosts score.

It will be the eighth one day cup final Kent have been involved in having most recently appeared in the final in 2018 when they were beaten by Hampshire. Lancashire’s last title win in white ball cricket coming in 2015 when they won the T20 Blast. They have numerous pro-40/Sunday league and Natwest/Gillette sponsored cup wins but their most recent coming in 1999.

Weather is supposed to be cloudy with a chill, 16 degrees in Nottingham on Saturday with the tie starting at 11am. Sky cameras will be in attendance and there are limited tickets available through the Trent Bridge website.

*Main image @lancscricket the Lancashire players training at Trent Bridge ahead of Saturday’s final.

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