Top order collapse leaves Read stranded

Featured News | 28th May 2009

A disastrous start to the Nottinghamshire innings saw the Outlaws tumble to a second consecutive defeat in the Twenty20 Cup as Lancashire Lightning claimed an 11-run victory.

After a disciplined bowling performance restricted the hosts to 151-6, Notts looked in a decent position but two wickets from the opening over bowled by Tom Smith got things off to a dreadful start, and things got worse as they collapsed to 19-5 inside the first four overs.

Samit Patel contributed 35 before he was caught at long-off trying to hit Gary Keedy for six, and it was left to skipper Chris Read to try and dig them out of a very large hole.

He put on 66 for the eighth wicket with Ryan Sidebottom but despite Read’s unbeaten 58, Notts were unable to haul themselves back into contention.

Notts were able to name both Sidebottom and Graeme Swann in their line-up following their release from England duty for two days ahead of the ICC World Twenty20.

And Sidebottom duly struck in the first over of the match to remove Smith lbw, with wickets falling at regular intervals as all the Notts bowlers kept things tight.

Sidebottom picked up a second wicket to finish with 2-26 from his four overs, while Patel also claimed two wickets.

But any hope of getting a victory at Old Trafford seemed to have evaporated as Ali Brown, Alex Hales, Swann, Adam Voges and Monday’s top scorer Will Jefferson all came and wait in very quick time.

Patel’s wicket at the halfway stage left things in peril and once Mark Ealham was caught, Read was left to bat with the tail in pursuit of an ever-increasing run rate.

A productive 17th over gave Read and Sidebottom a sniff but 31 were still needed off the final two overs.

A back-foot drive to the cover boundary from Read at the start of the 19th over brought up the 50 partnership, before the 30-year-old closed out the over with a pulled four to bring up his own half-century.

Read had the strike going into the last over with 18 needed but former England paceman Sajid Mahmood kept things tight, as the game drifted to a close.

Director of Cricket Mick Newell said: “The top of the order is giving us very little in the game at the moment and it’s very disappointing.

“Chris batted very well but a win was always at best an outside chance given the position we were in, needed 15 or 16 runs an over.

“We did reasonably well in the field and to keep Lancashire to 151 was a good effort. It was a big outfield and there was plenty of room for ones and twos. But we must combine all three disciplines to get some wins before the break in the competition.”

Ali Brown

Ali Brown was dismissed off the first ball of the Notts innings

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