Notts Outlaws fell to their first Friends Life t20 defeat of the summer when they lost to Durham Dynamos by 33 runs at the Emirates Durham ICG.
Set a victory target of 188 – a total that would have been their highest ever away from Trent Bridge – the Outlaws ended on 154-8 with Adam Voges top-scoring with 46. Earlier, Phil Mustard’s 75 from just 41 deliveries set the Dynamos on course for their second victory of the campaign.
The Outlaws were again unchanged but found themselves fielding for the first time in the competition after skipper David Hussey had called incorrectly at the toss.
“It was a used wicket, so we’d have batted but we should still have done better,” said Notts Assistant Manager Wayne Noon.
“They will have done their homework and seen that we’d batted first in all of our other games so they will have tried to put us under pressure when chasing.
“We’d got into a good position and were ahead on the Duckworth-Lewis calculations until that crazy over when we lost Voges and Wessels.”
Noon said that his side had done well to restrict Durham to 187 after allowing them to get such a good start.
“To keep them to just 76 runs from the last ten overs was a terrific job but we’d allowed them too many runs early on,” he said.
“It was always unlikely that we could go all season undefeated and the good thing is that we play them again on Thursday at home, where we always fancy our chances.”
Play began in warm, sunny conditions with Phil Mustard and Gordon Muchall showing early aggression to get the innings off to a rapid start. Three boundaries came from the second over, bowled by Luke Fletcher, and then Andy Carter’s next went for 14 to make it 36-0 from three overs.
The breakthrough came in the fourth over when Mustard cut straight to Mullaney at point. Muchall came charging down the wicket but, with his partner showing no inclination to run, he was stranded as the fielder’s return scored a direct hit on the stumps.
Mustard and new partner Ian Blackwell continued to find the boundary with great regularity as 67 came during the six power-play overs.
At 122-1 after eleven, Notts were under intense pressure and facing a huge total to chase but they then dragged themselves back into contention in spectacular fashion.
The stand had produced 79 in just eight overs but then Mustard surrendered his wicket. Deceived by the flight of Mullaney, he was comfortably stumped by Read’s excellent glove-work for a personal best of 75.
Andy Carter yorked Paul Collingwood and then Blackwell also went meekly – backing up too far he also fell to a superb throw from Mullaney.
The Outlaws fielding was clinical – Scott Elstone produced a couple of diving stops to prevent boundaries and then Pattinson, shying from extra cover, produced the third accurate throw of the innings to send back Benkenstein.
Five wickets fell for just 28 runs – Pattinson accounting for Miller and Breese, before adding the scalp of Plunkett in the final over to finish with 3-31. The Dynamos total of 187-8 was their highest t20 score against Notts but should have been much greater, as only 32 runs came from the final five overs.
When Notts batted Alex Hales helped himself to 6.4.4. at the start of the second over, bowled by Graeme Onions – an over that eventually cost 21 runs. The opener was looking in ominous form but then cruelly dragged one from Rushworth back on to his stumps to be dismissed for 26.
Voges and Wessels then combined for a stand of 68 in eight overs to keep the Outlaws firmly up with the rate but both then fell in consecutive deliveries.
The Australian had made 46 from just 26 balls when he chipped Ian Blackwell straight into the hands of Collingwood at midwicket. That brought Hussey to the crease. He pushed his first ball to the same fielder and set off. A period of yes-no hesitation followed which left Wessels stranded as the return zipped straight into Mustard’s gloves.
Samit Patel launched his fourth ball one bounce over the rope at long on – narrowly avoiding David Miller. Attempting a repeat, he hit it cleanly straight to the South African and almost immediately another key wicket was lost as Hussey’s brief stay ended when he spooned a ball from Gareth Breese to midwicket.
With the required run rate in excess of 15 Read pulled Breese high to Claydon on the deep square boundary. Steven Mullaney compiled a hard-hitting 28 but he and Scott Elstone fell in consecutive deliveries in the final over with the home support already celebrating their victory.
The sides will meet again at Trent Bridge on Thursday (7pm start) with Notts’ lead at the top of the North Group still standing at 3 points.