Durham Clinch Victory
In Tense Contest

Match Report | 30th May 2014

Notts Outlaws went down to their second defeat of the T20 Blast competition when they were defeated by just three runs against Durham Jets at Trent Bridge.

Needing 133 to win, the Outlaws were left needing four from the final ball of the match but a fine running catch from Ben Stokes halted Sam Wood’s bid for success, giving the north east county the two points.

For the second week running the Outlaws top order failed to fire, with Steven Mullaney (26 not out) and Riki Wessels (26) sharing the highest score, after the top three on the card had failed to reach double figures.It had been a fine night, individually, for Mullaney, who took 4-25 with the ball.

Andy Carter (3-31) continued his fine form this season, as the Jets struggled to 132-8, without ever finding any momentum.The Outlaws nominated an unchanged T20 line-up and were able to field first after James Taylor won the toss and inserted the visitors.

Left-handers Mark Stoneman and Phil Mustard have both made merry against Notts in the past but were unable to get the innings off to a fast start against accurate bowling.Eight came from the opening over, sent down by Luke Fletcher but Notts bounced back with a maiden to follow it, delivered from the Pavilion End by Ajmal Shahzad.

Jets captain Stoneman (16) pulled Fletcher away for a boundary in the third over but then fell in the next, giving the Outlaws a vital foot-hold, as he hit Carter straight to Mullaney at mid on.Calum MacLeod (13) smashed three violent boundaries but left plenty more runs out there as he tossed his wicket away, picking out Michael Lumb at mid on, also off Carter.

Mullaney’s purple patch of form brought him all of the next four wickets to fall. Paul Collingwood (8) was undone by lack of pace as he tamely chipped back to the bowler, Mustard (27) hit a six into the New Stand but perished trying a repeat, with Lumb taking the boundary catch, Stokes (5) pulled to Hales and Pringle (0) was lbw first ball. Gordon Muchall, who scored a century on the ground earlier in the week, launched a counter-attack by opening up his body to heave Mullaney over extra cover for another six.

Usman Arshad’s resistance (7) was soon over, as he was cleaned up by a yorker from Carter, his third wicket, then Gareth Breese (3) hit Fletcher to midwicket, where Lumb bagged his third catch of the evening, tumbling to his right.Muchall (31 not out) tried to muscle the score towards respectability but Carter and Shahzad each bowled tidy final overs to leave the Jets on 132-8.

To stay in contention Durham needed early wickets and Chris Rushworth obliged, knocking back Alex Hales’ (5) middle stump before having James Taylor (6) smartly taken by Stoneman at square leg.It got worse, the penultimate ball of the power-play overs saw Lumb (9) pull Chris Wood high to MacLeod in front of the New Stand to leave the chase in tatters at 24-3.

Samit Patel and Riki Wessels added 27 before they were parted by the off-spin of Breese, inducing Patel (18) to hit out to Mark Wood at midwicket.

Chris Read (23) batted with intensity and belligerence, taking 15 from Breese’s following over, whacking two powerful sixes along the way.Arshad stepped in with the breakthrough, just as the Jets were looking in need of some inspiration, as Read (23) played away from his body and nicked through to Mustard.13 runs came from the 17th over, as Mullaney hit Arshad for 4-2-4 from the first three deliveries.

Wessels (26) then lost his middle stump to Stokes, trying to find a much-needed boundary, leaving 26 required from 15 balls.The equation had come down to 15 from 7 – but a mighty six from Sam Wood, off Arshad, swung the contest back towards Notts.

Rushworth bowled the final over and was hit for a brace of two’s by Mullaney – two dot balls and a single left Sam Wood requiring a boundary but his heroic heave for glory fell into the hands of Stokes, fielding just in front of the dug-outs at long on.

After three consecutive home games, the Outlaws are on the road next Friday evening, when they make the short trip to face Derbyshire Falcons (7pm).

tunbridge wells

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