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Royal London Cup: Steven Croft’s unbeaten ton propels Lancashire into the semi-finals, Kent to face Hampshire in the last four | Cricket News

Veteran Steven Croft was the star of the show for Lancashire as his unbeaten 115 saw them beat Nottinghamshire in the thrilling quarter-final of the Royal London One-Day Cup; Joe Denly scores tops as Kent advance to bottom four at expense of Leicestershire

Last update: 26/08/22 20:44

Steven Croft was Lancashire’s hero in their Royal London Cup quarter-final win over Nottinghamshire

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

In his 600th appearance in all forms of cricket, 37-year-old Croft’s unbeaten 115 made the difference in Blackpool to help Lancashire chase another tally of over 300 to claim victory.

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

But after Croft’s heroism, bolstered by a key seventh wicket position with Danny Lamb, Lancashire became the first of seven teams to chase 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 bit rocky on 237-6 on the 38th. He finished with eight balls still needed to win 13 balls, but Croft finished the job with a limit.

“It’s a really nice feeling to be there at the end and get the guys through to the semis,” Croft said. “As for the white balls, that’s going to be there for me. One hundred unbeaten on your pitch to qualify for the semi-finals is something I won’t forget.”

Lancashire will face Sussex in the last four.

Joe Denly was Kent's top scorer in their win at Leicestershire

Joe Denly was Kent’s top scorer in their win at Leicestershire

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

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

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

The win extends Kent’s white ball career of 46-year-old all-rounder Darren Stevens – who played against his hometown club – for at least one more game as they head to the Ageas Bowl on Tuesday.