Hales Fifty Eases
Outlaws Past Derbyshire
Match Report | 6th June 2014
Notts Outlaws completed a 5-wicket victory over local rivals Derbyshire Falcons in their latest match in the Nat West T20 Blast competition.
After restricting their hosts to 164-7 Notts raced to their target in just 16.5 overs to pick up their second win of the season.
Alex Hales paved the way for the successful run chase, scoring a hard-hitting 63, making his runs from just 32 balls and hit 11 fours and a six.
Hales and fellow opener Michael Lumb put on a quick-fire 57 for the first wicket to set the Outlaws on their way to their eighth win in nine trips to Derby; the only respite for the home side being the 2012 match which was rained off.
Earlier Marcus North made 57 for the home side, although he rode his luck and gave four chances. Harry Gurney (2-24), Samit Patel (2-26), Andy Carter (2-42) and Ajmal Shahzad (1-28) were the wicket-takers for Notts.
Notts welcomed Gurney back into their starting line-up, after the left-armer had been away on international duty. Steven Mullaney and Andy Carter also returned, after both had missed the championship match at Hove.
The home side included two former Outlaws in their eleven, in Scott Elstone and Mark Footitt.
On a glorious evening, with clear blue sky overhead, there was drama before the start when Gurney slipped over in practice. For several minutes the Notts medical staff worked on the stricken fast bowler and a premature announcement stated that Luke Fletcher would replace him. A quick amendment restored Gurney to the side in time for him to open the bowling.
The teams came out, flanked by mascots Freddie the Falcon and Nuts the Squirrel, as fireworks were surprisingly released, to minimum effect in the brightly sunlit conditions.
If there had been any lingering fitness worries about Gurney they were immediately dispelled as the first ball of the match produced a wicket. Steve Moore (0) was hurried by the pace and popped up a return catch which England’s latest ODI cap took, after sprinting and throwing himself under the falling ball.
Carter only needed three deliveries, before his radar locked onto Wes Durston’s stumps. The former Somerset man, who scored a ton at Trent Bridge in 2010, only made 7 before losing his off stump in spectacular fashion in the fourth over.
Derbyshire’s plight worsened as Tom Knight (6) tried to free the shackles but only succeeded in hoisting Shahzad straight to Mullaney at mid off.
With a board showing only 32-3 at the end of the power-play overs the experienced duo of Wayne Madsen and North began the rebuilding job, although the latter was to have some huge fortune.
In the ninth over, on 9, he was spilled for the first time by a difficult - and fiercely hit - caught and bowled chance to Samit Patel and two runs later Mullaney also reprieved the Australian off his own bowling.
Madsen (36) hit the first maximum of the match, lofting Patel over long on but then tried a repeat and picked out Hales in the deep. Considering the barracking he was getting at the time, the Notts fielder judged the catch superbly and then put his finger to his lips to silence the boo-boys.
Elstone (17) hit Sam Wood to the boundary boards with a reverse sweep and then an extra cover drive but he also perished to the Hales / Patel combination.
North was missed by a stumping opportunity – and then again dropped, on 48, by Carter at fine leg, as he pulled Shahzad away and brought up his fifty shortly afterwards (41 balls 6x4).
Gareth Cross (5) fell in the 19th over, bowled, swishing across the line against Gurney before a successful final over saw the Falcons get up to 164-7.
North perished at the start of that last over, held by a well-judged Riki Wessels catch at long on. Bowler Carter then came under a spot of pressure as Tim Groenewald hit him for a six and a four to close the innings on a high.
Notts began their reply with a flurry of runs. Hales took 14 from the opening over, bowled by Durston and then a couple of Lumb boundaries and a fierce bouncer from Footitt that went for 6 no-balls moved the total to 30-0 from only 2 overs.
After 2.2 overs Notts already had more in their power-play overs than the Falcons managed in 6. Lumb blasted Groenewald for an enormous six, down the ground, that crashed into the sightscreen.
Tony Palladino also came in for some punishment – his first two balls were pummelled to the ropes to bring up the team 50.
Footitt’s second over – the fifth – found a desperately-required breakthrough for the home side as Lumb (21) top-edged high to Palladino at third man.
James Taylor (2) went cheaply, chipping back to Groenewald in the sixth over, which ended with the Outlaws on 70-2 and Patel (3) also lifted the pacy Footitt to third man, this time North taking the catch.
A Footitt misfield on the off side boundary gave Hales four to take him to 49 and he pushed his next ball, from Elstone, for the single to bring up a brilliant half century (25 balls 10x4).
Hales hit Alex Hughes for a colossal blow towards the City End – with the ball sailing many a mile over the screens but then attempted a repeat and was bowled next ball.
Wessels also hit a six on his way to making 26 from 22 balls before hitting Groenewald to Hughes at long on.
Read (7 not out) and Mullaney (18 not out) ensured there would be no further jitters as they kept up the impressive run-rate and reached the finishing line with two Mullaney boundaries off Hughes.
The Outlaws now have two wins from their opening four matches and are next in action, in this competition, next Friday when they face Birmingham Bears at Trent Bridge (6pm).