Ali Brown acknowledged the importance of playing two LV County Championship matches after he helped Notts Outlaws return to Twenty20 Cup in style with an 11-run win over Yorkshire Carnegie.
Brown blasted 66 off 32 balls, including four sixes and five fours, in a second-wicket partnership worth 110 with Matt Wood, who made 46.
Their stand and Samit Patel’s unbeaten 32 pushed Notts to a total of 165-4, and with Mark Ealham and Ryan Sidebottom taking two wickets each, Yorkshire could only finish on 154-8, Andrew Gale top-scoring for the visitors with 76.
Brown’s spectacular knock ended a barren run in the competition which had seen the 39-year-old manage a top score of just 11 from the first six games.
And he said: “It was nice to have the two Championship matches and be able to bat for a good length of time.
“I think I had been getting ahead of myself in the Twenty20 games, trying to hit the ball too hard rather than just watch the ball and play.
“Those Championship matches at Edgbaston and the Rose Bowl gave me time at the crease, and let me regain my focus on watching the ball and reacting to it.”
Although skipper Chris Read was bowled second ball by Deon Kruis after being promoted up the order, Brown and Wood quickly got on top of the Yorkshire bowling and hit plenty of boundaries to all parts of the ground.
They pushed the total on to 110 in the 11th over but then fell in rapid succession, meaning the innings lost momentum.
Patel did manage to beat the fielders in the closing stages for what Read said would have been a good total at the start of the match.
And with the Notts bowlers able to contain everyone but left-handed opener Gale, Yorkshire could not sustain the run-scoring required.
Sidebottom, freed to play for the fixture by England, yorked Gerard Brophy and Ajmal Shahzad in consecutive balls to effectively seal the game after Gale had skied Ealham to Brown at midwicket.
Brown added: “It was probably the best batting wicket we’ve had so far in the competition and leant itself to playing over the top of the infield.
“In Twenty20, any partnership over 100 gives you a great platform to build a match-winning total. We got a competitive score and it proved good enough in the end.”
The win pushed Notts up to fourth place in the North Division, although three more wins will be needed if they are to claim third place and a possible quarter-final spot.
They continue their campaign with a home match against Leicestershire Foxes on Wednesday evening, starting at 5.30pm.
Advance tickets can be bought on Tuesday until 4pm for the discounted price of £12 for adults, £7 for juniors and senior citizens, and £31 for a family of two adults and two children, either here or from the Trent Bridge Ticket Office on 0870 168 8888.
BLITZ FROM BROWN DEFEATS YORKSHIRE
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