England Lions cruised to a nine wicket win over West Indies A to book their place in the A Team Tri-Series Final.
The victory was set up by the Hampshire duo of Liam Dawson and Reece Topley. Ahead of the Royal London One Day Cup Final on Saturday, the pair took four wickets apiece as they ripped through a West Indies A side that could only muster a below par 162 all out.
It never looked like being enough. Tom Kohler-Cadmore struck an unbeaten 80 and Sam Hain 48 as the Lions chased down their target with 25 overs to spare. They will now take on India A in the Tri-Series Final on Monday at the Kia Oval.
Earlier, the Lions won the toss and inserted West Indies A on a green-looking track on a glorious day at the County Ground, Northampton. Topley came back into the side for Matt Parkinson; the only change from the team that fell to defeat against India A earlier in the week.
After a couple of impressive looking drives, Jermaine Blackwood was the first man to go, looping a top edged pull from a short, sharp Topley delivery to give Hain one of the easiest catches he’ll ever take at point.
Tom Helm almost followed up with the second wicket as Chandrapaul Hemraj came very close to picking out Ed Barnard at deep midwicket. The Worcestershire allrounder could only palm the ball over the rope for six despite a spirited effort on the boundary.
The reprieve didn’t last long as Hemraj hit an attempted drive off Topley high into the air in the following over. Hain took a good catch over his head running back from point.
Andre McCarthy went soon after as Topley trapped the Jamaican batsman leg before for seven to leave the West Indies struggling at 30-3.
Topley finished an excellent opening spell with figures of 6-2-12-3, showing exactly why the Lions missed him at Leicester
West Indies A skipper Devon Thomas set about the rebuilding job as he tried to get his side back into the game. A flat batted pull straight back past Barnard set the tone for the stand out knock of the West Indies A innings.
He put on 67 with Sunil Ambris (27) before the latter chipped Lions skipper Steven Mullaney to Liam Dawson at mid-off.
Dawson and Mullaney bowled beautifully in tandem to ramp up the pressure on the West Indies A batsmen. The Hampshire spinner was rewarded handsomely, bursting through defences of Rahkeen Cornwall (1) and Thomas (45) to put West Indies in deep trouble at 113-6.
The seventh wicket quickly followed as Hain ran out Raymond Reifer. Dawson picked up his third soon after when Jomel Warrican slapped one straight to Hain at midwicket, the third catch for the Warwickshire batsman.
The ninth wicket fell when Sherman Lewis was trapped in front by Dawson. He finished with impressive figures of 4-21 after bowling his ten overs straight through.
Dominic Drakes (21*) and Oshane Thomas (13) put on a spirited last wicket partnership of 30 before Thomas tried one hit too many off the returning Topley and was caught down at third man by Helm. The wicket for Topley meant he finished with his best ever List A figures of 4-16.
That left the Lions needing 163 to win and clinch a place in the A Team Tri-Series Final. The Lions innings got off to nervy start with Tom Kohler-Cadmore surviving consecutive drops on the second and third ball of the innings off the bowling of Oshane Thomas.
His opening partner Nick Gubbins started like a train, racing to 27 at better than a run a ball. He suffered an unfortunate end as he was run out by West Indies A keeper Devon Thomas after the Middlesex man mistakenly thought the ball had gone past him.
Kohler-Cadmore continued the aggressive intent of the England openers, smashing a huge pulled six that nearly went out of the ground before following that up by putting Reifer into the top tier of the Spencer Pavilion.
The 19-year-old Worcester batsman brought up his 44-ball fifty with a stroked drive straight down the ground off Cornwall.
He put on 120 alongside Hain who played an excellent supporting hand with 48. The pair saw England home as they cantered to victory in only 25 overs with Kohler-Cadmore hitting the winning runs.