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Kent all-rounder hits 64 as England Lions reach final

Tuesday 6th July 2010

Kent batsman Darren Stevens (pictured) continues to impress for the England Lions. A typically pugnacious 64 helped the Lions post 343 against India A at New Road, Worcester. In a thrilling encounter, India came close to chasing down the mammoth total but, in the end, a tie was enough to send them through to a triangular series final against the unbeaten Lions at the same venue tomorrow.

Skipper Ian Bell led the way with the bat. He crashed 158 from 143 balls, but Stevens, promoted to number four, played a pivotal role as he struck six fours and a six and shared in a partnership of 154 with Bell, for the third wicket, to setup the formidable total. Wicketkeeper Steven Davies was the other main contributor. His 54 set the ball rolling at the top of the innings.

After a fine performance from Stevens with the bat it was over to Kent team-mate James Tredwell to perform with the ball and despite not taking a wicket, amidst a day of carnage at New Road, he recorded the best economy rate of any bowlers to complete their allocation on either side. India were powered by Abhinav Mukund“s 114 but Tredwell kept it tight during the middle overs; conceding just 51 from his ten overs, and with Liam Plunkett taking 4-58 the equation came down to the tourists requiring 94 from 69 balls to win.

Aggressive batting from Manoj Tiwary (46) and Wriddhiman Saha meant that the Indians never fell too far behind the required run-rate and needing 12 from the last over maintained their composure as a scrambled bye was enough to level the scores and leave India A one point ahead of West Indies A to book their place in the final against the England Lions.

Picture:Getty Images