Fixture News | 12th August 2007
Steelbacks suffer Fleming blitz
A brilliant innings from skipper Stephen Fleming gave the Notts Outlaws a much-needed boost as they thrashed Northamptonshire Steelbacks by six wickets.
Northamptonshire Steelbacks 211-6 (Hussey 3-26, Harris 2-33)
Notts Outlaws 212-4 (Fleming 90)
Notts Outlaws won by six wickets
The 34-year-old stunned the visiting bowlers with 90 off just 60 balls, including 12 fours and three sixes, to set Notts well on their way to victory, confirmed with more than 10 overs to spare.
Northants had chosen to bat after winning the toss but were put on the back foot by two wickets in four balls from AJ Harris, who bowled opener Rob White and then had Usman Afzaal caught behind.
The visitors generally struggled to make much headway on a turning pitch, with Graeme Swann particularly miserly with figures of 1-21 from his eight overs, while David Hussey proved an unlikely success with a career-best 3-26 in the closing stages.
The Northants total of 211 looked light from the moment David Wigley opened the bowling with a leg-side wide, and so it proved as all the Notts batsmen got stuck in.
Swann hit five crisp boundaries before he was caught behind, setting the scene for Fleming to come in and show the good form that has seen him hit two hundreds in the last two Championship matches.
Wigley's fourth over went for 19, 18 coming off the Kiwi's bat, while Richard Logan's arrival was greeted with two pulled sixes.
Will Jefferson also joined in the fun with a slog-swept six off Jason Brown before gloving an attempted pull to wicketkeeper Rikki Wessels.
But Fleming just kept on going and only missed out on a well-deserved century when he misjudged a paddle sweep to short fine leg.
David Hussey launched his first delivery for six and although Mark Wagh was bowled in the next over, Samit Patel completed the win with a lofted six over cover.
Director of Cricket Mick Newell said: "That was a very good performance from the moment AJ took the two early wickets.
"Scores between 210-220 can be competitive, depending on how you start your chase. Last week against Worcestershire we collapsed; this time we constructed our innings much better.
"Fleming's innings was terrific. His positive attitude meant we got on top of the Northants bowlers and were always well ahead of the required run-rate."
The result gives Notts four points from four games in Division One, and although the Outlaws are still aiming to push for the title, Newell added: "We are relying on other teams losing games.
"But we must concentrate on what we are doing, keep playing well and keep trying to win.
"We've got Essex on Wednesday which will be a tough ask as they have been a strong one-day team for a couple of years. But we have got confidence back and will have the home crowd behind us, so hopefully the supporters will be out in force."