Notts Outlaws earned themselves a home tie in the quarter final of this seasons Friends Life t20 competition by defeating Leicestershire Foxes by 69 runs after being invited to bat first at Trent Bridge.
An opening stand of 94 between Michael Lumb and James Taylor gave the Outlaws innings some early impetus and solid contributions from Riki Wessels, Adam Voges and Chris Read took the total up to 196-3 at the mid-point of the afternoon.
In response the defending champions could only make 127-9 by the end of their allotted overs, with Andy Carter picking up figures of 3-12.
Lumb’s 62 won him the man-of-the-match award and he was understandably pleased at his day’s work.
“We enjoy playing on our wickets and we get really good crowds here. To get that home match was so important for us.” - Michael Lumb
“I just wanted to help get us through the first six overs and help us to a decent start,” he said.
“James Taylor played beautifully and we pushed on nicely to give the rest something to build on. Perhaps we should have reached 200 but I was always confident that we would be able to defend 196 with our bowling attack.”
The Outlaws win means home advantage for a place at Finals Day.
“We love playing at Trent Bridge,” said Lumb. “We enjoy playing on our wickets and we get really good crowds here. To get that home match was so important for us.”
Foxes’ captain Matthew Hoggard won the toss and invited the Outlaws to bat first, with the home side missing Alex Hales (who was resting his injured quad muscle) and Samit Patel (absent on England duty).
James Taylor opened the batting, alongside the in-form Lumb, who clipped Hoggard’s first delivery of the match away for four.
The left-hander found the fence at the start of the next two overs as well, severely punishing both Nathan Buck and Robert Taylor.
At the start of the fourth over James Taylor used his feet to launch Abdul Razzaq over midwicket for the first maximum of the day. The Pakistan international, a t20 winner in each of the last two seasons, disappeared over the ropes twice more as Lumb peppered the heavily-populated New Stand in an over that cost 19 runs.
The William Clarke fans were the next to try and take a soaring catch as Taylor smashed the returning Hoggard for another mighty blow, with the fifty coming up in just 4.2 overs. It became five sixes in only nine deliveries as Lumb then deposited the same bowler into the lower Radcliffe Road Stand.
Lumb then turned on the turbo-chargers to reach his fifty from just 23 balls with 5 fours and 4 sixes – he celebrated by hitting Wayne White for two more maximums before hitting the same bowler to Rob Taylor at extra cover to depart for a hugely-impressive 62.
Taylor’s third six brought the hundred up at the start of the next over but he fell just before the halfway point for 45, lifting James Sykes to Nathan Buck at long off.
114-2 after ten overs - became 142-2 from 13 - as Riki Wessels opened up with a flourish and joined the six-hitting club by pulling R Taylor away on the legside.
Wessels (32) emulated J Taylor by hitting Sykes straight down the ground to be well-caught by Buck. Despite a late flurry, a 200 total was just out of reach, although the penultimate ball of the innings was pummelled over deep midwicket by Chris Read (21 not out) and two from the final delivery took the Outlaws to 196-3, with captain Adam Voges undefeated on 26.
Two of the Foxes most powerful hitters, Josh Cobb and Abdul Razzaq, began the reply but were parted after just four deliveries of the opening over. After hitting Harry Gurney for a flowing boundary Cobb lifted his former team-mate straight to Graeme White at widish mid off.
Sensing the need to make a decent start in case Duckworth Lewis came into play Razzaq and new partner Greg Smith blazed away to put 30 on the board after just 3 overs.
Andy Carter, fresh from having a mohawk haircut shaved by Steven Mullaney for reaching 1,000 Twitter followers, pegged the Foxes back as he conceded only three runs from a miserly first over.
Razzaq hit a straight six off Darren Pattinson but lost his partner in Carter’s second over as Smith (14) had his off pole uprooted by a pacy full toss.
Successive boundaries from the bowling of Steven Mullaney – one convincing, one streaky, took Razzaq to his half century (33 balls 8x4 1x6) but Ramnaresh Sarwan (8) didn’t last long, bowled by Graeme White – sweeping at fresh air.
Voges replaced White and struck immediately, inviting the left-handed Matthew Boyce (3) to pick out Scott Elstone in the deep to make it 88-4.
With light drizzle turning into heavy rain, the umpires took the players off for a short break at 105-4 with no loss of overs.
The second ball of the resumption ensured that there wouldn’t be a sting in the tail as White had Razzaq caught behind for 69. Read whipped the bails off as well but umpire Jeff Evans had observed the thin snick first.
Pattinson clipped the off bail of Ned Eckersley (3) and Carter claimed a couple more wickets when he demolished Rob Taylor’s (3) furniture and then bowled Wayne White (10).
Gurney clean-bowled a swinging Hoggard (0) before the innings closed on 127-9 to ensure the Outlaws completed the double over the outgoing t20 champions to secure their place in the last eight.
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