On a miserable, murky afternoon at Trent Bridge heavy rain eventually curtailed Notts Outlaws’ final CB40 match of the season, with their contest against the Welsh Dragons being called off at 6.15pm as a ‘No Result’.
At that stage of the day the Outlaws had every reason to feel they were on top, having posted a total of 264-6, with Alex Hales top-scoring with 94.
The visitors had only reached 20-0 when the conditions deteriorated to such an extent that the match was called off, leaving the Outlaws in fourth place in Clydesdale Bank 40 Group B.
James Taylor skippered Notts for the first time but his opposite number, Mark Wallace, called correctly and elected to field.
Notts rested Chris Read and Michael Lumb, enabling Riki Wessels to keep wicket and giving Neil Edwards his first CB40 start of the summer – and only his sixth one-day appearance for the county.
With the floodlights on and steady drizzle falling, Edwards and Alex Hales got the Outlaws off to a fast start, bringing up the fifty in just 7.3 overs.
John Glover was brought into the attack in the tenth over and nearly struck for the Dragons, as Edwards lifted the ball close to the diving James Harris at mid off.
The century opening stand arrived in the sixteenth over, as Hales pulled Glover away to leg. It was the first time an opening pair had brought up three figures together in a one-day match for Notts since Will Jefferson and Graeme Swann put on 111 at home to Gloucestershire in 2007.
The left-handed Edwards progressed to a maiden half-century for Notts in this competition (49 balls 7x4) and first since registering one for Somerset in 2006.
He celebrated by lifting Glover for six into the sightscreens at the Radcliffe Road End of the ground but attempting a repeat next ball, he holed out to Harris to end the partnership on 114.
Hales’ own fifty came up from 57 balls, with 5 fours but he picked up the tempo at the sight of Marcus North being introduced into the attack. Using his feet to get to the Australian’s gentle off-spinners, the opener deposited the Dragons’ sixth bowler into a hospitality box straight down the ground.
With James Taylor rotating the strike nicely, the 150 arrived in the 24th over.
The written media then had every reason to be thankful for reinforced glass as Hales creamed James Harris into the Press Box windows for a monster six.
At 184-1 Notts took the batting powerplay at the start of an eventful 31st over. Hales hit Andrew Salter for his third maximum, then smashed him down the ground for four before, inexplicably, playing all around a full-toss to be bowled for 94 (87 balls 7x4 3x6).
Ironically, it was two years to the day since Hales had become the first-ever first class cricketer to be dismissed twice in the nineties in a single day (falling for 98 and 93 in a championship match against Lancashire).
Salter’s fortunes turned in that moment and seconds later he was rejoicing again as Adam Voges (0) was bowled first ball by one that turned appreciably through the gate.
Taylor made 40 from 50 balls before mistiming a delivery from Wagg high to North at cover.
Losing their way a touch, the Outlaws could only manage 43 from the final seven overs of the innings. Riki Wessels (27) fell to a fine diving catch by ‘keeper Wallace and Scott Elstone (16) lifted Simon Jones to cover.
Steven Mullaney ended with an unbeaten half-dozen to his name and Graeme White (7 not out) hit Jones for six in the final over as the innings ended as it began with steady drizzle falling.
A slight delay to the restart left a revised target of 257 needed from 38 overs. Despite the threat of further disruptions the Dragons openers Wallace and Gareth Rees began cautiously.
They’d added only 20-0 after 5.3 overs when the rain became heavier and umpires Cowley and Jesty decided to suspend play before the inevitable abandonment an hour later.