Notts Outlaws recorded their first tie of the season in a low scoring Friends Provident t20 game against Northants Steelbacks at Trent Bridge.

Requiring just five from a tense final over the Outlaws could only manage four leaving the scores tied on 121.

The single point gained the Outlaws to 13 for the campaign and they remain top of the Northern Section after eight matches.

On a sun drenched evening, the Steelbacks, who had won three and lost four of their previous seven games, elected to bat first in an attempt to exert pressure on the Outlaws.

Mick Newell’s men were again without influential club captain Chris Read due to injury leaving Bilal Shafayat to deputise behind the stumps. Ryan Sidebottom was replaced by Graeme White in an otherwise unchanged side.

The Outlaws restricted the Steelbacks to just 121 for 7 from their 20 overs.

Man of the match, Darren Pattinson was the star with the ball taking career best figures of 4 for 19 from his four overs as the Steelbacks started poorly.

The England International set the tone for the evening with a rare wicket maiden in his first over catching the edge from Robert White to have him caught behind by Shafayat.

Pattinson ended his first spell of three overs with two more wickets, Sri Lankan Chaminda Vaas and South African Nicky Boje, as the Steelbacks managed just 32 for 3 from their six power play overs.

Alex Wakely, 43 from 43 balls, and Captain Andrew Hall, 40* from 37 balls, were the mainstays of the Steelbacks innings.  

Indeed, Wakely looked set for a half century before Pattinson got in on the act again, taking a brilliant catch over his shoulder at short fine leg off the bowling of Paul Franks with the score at 80 for 5.

Hall and James Middlebrook ended the innings with a flourish scoring 15 from Dirk Nannes’ final over to take the score above the six an over mark.

The Outlaws began in similar vein as Chaminda Vaas ripped through the top order taking 3 for 7 from his opening spell.

Skipper David Hussey followed chopping Hall onto his stumps to leave the Outlaws in trouble at 23-4 from their power play.

Matt Wood and Steven Mullaney steadied the ship with a partnership of 55 for the 5th wicket.  They looked to be cruising to victory until Wood was caught at long off for 41 from 32 balls from the bowling of Middlebrook.

Mullaney continued where Wood left off and the Outlaws required just 33 from the final 5 overs with four wickets in hand.

A steady flow of wickets at the other end hampered the Outlaws innings as Shafayat and Franks departed for 2.

Having launched Vaas for a boundary in the penultimate over Mullaney looked to have steered his side to victory but he managed to find deep long on from Hall’s second delivery and was out caught for 53 from 43 deliveries.

It was left to White to score five from the remaining four balls but despite the clever paddle sweep for four from the third delivery it wasn’t to be.

Pattinson was run out backing up on the penultimate delivery and White followed on the final ball of the over, scrambling to the non strikers end as Hall broke the stumps following a throw from Murphy the wicket keeper.

Mullaney, so nearly the orchestrator of victory, was understandably disappointed at the end of the game.

“Without any disrespect to Northants we see that as a point lost not a point gained,” he said.

“We were really happy to have restricted them to 121 but the batting didn’t fire tonight. We are still top of the league and this is a big week for us and we will be aiming for a better performance next time out.”