(BBC) Heino Kuhn hit his fourth One-Day Cup century in five innings as Kent beat Worcestershire by two wickets yesterday to reach their first Lord’s final since 2008.
Ben Cox’s brilliant unbeaten 122 enabled the home side to post a total of 306-6 after being 48-4 early on.
He put on 140 with Brett D’Oliveira (78) and 109 in just 9.4 overs with Ed Barnard, who made 50 not out.
But Kuhn made 127 off 118 balls and Alex Blake smashed 61 off 47 as Kent reached 307-8 with two balls to spare.
Harry Podmore struck the winning boundary off Patrick Brown, one of two teenagers in Worcestershire’s bowling attack, after Kuhn holed out from the previous delivery after striking two sixes and eight fours in his innings.
It was a thrilling end to a fascinating contest, which saw Worcestershire, who were without Moeen Ali because of England duty, in trouble after losing their top four inside 14 overs, only for Cox to turn the tide back in their favour.
His partnership with D’Oliveira was a club record for the fifth wicket in List A cricket and it took an astonishing one-handed catch in the deep by Matt Henry to bring it to an end, as D’Oliveira fell to Kent skipper Joe Denly’s leg-spin.
Barnard, though, arrived in the 41st over and produced a series of audacious strokes, including two sixes, in his 28-ball knock as he and Cox pushed the total beyond 300.
Dillon Pennington, the other 19-year-old in Worcestershire’s team, sent Daniel Bell-Drummond and Denly back cheaply at the start of Kent’s reply.
But the home side paid the price for Daryl Mitchell dropping a straightforward caught and bowled chance offered by Kuhn, when he was on 50.
Kuhn had another escape on 57 when keeper Cox superbly anticipated his ramp shot, but was unable to hold the catch as he leapt into the air.
Adam Rouse (70) added 114 for the fourth wicket with the South African, but the required rate exceeded 10 an over at one stage.
Blake, though, smashed three sixes and three fours and Kuhn went to his hundred off 99 balls, passing 650 runs in this year’s competition in the process, as Kent closed in on their target and they will face either Hampshire or Yorkshire at Lord’s on 30 June.
It was Worcestershire’s second home semi-final defeat in successive years, having lost to Surrey by 153 runs in 2017