Notts Outlaws continued their surge up the Group B table in this season’s Clydesdale Bank 40 competition with a 6-wicket win over the Hampshire Royals at Trent Bridge.
With James Taylor making 74, after Alex Hales had given the innings some early impetus with a hard-hitting 70, the Outlaws completed their success with 17 deliveries to spare.
Earlier, after being put in, the Hampshire Royals had posted a score of 230-7 from their 40 overs, with James Vince making an undefeated 102. The wickets were shared amongst the home bowlers with Samit Patel, Andy Carter and Darren Pattinson claiming two each, with Graeme White getting the other one to fall.
As at Guildford, on Sunday, Notts opened the bowling with the left-arm spin of Patel and in a repeat he again struck with just the third delivery of the innings, as Jimmy Adams (0) edged behind to Chris Read.
The same combination struck in the third over as Simon Katich (2) also fell to a catch at the wicket, to leave the Royals in disarray at 13-2.
Andy Carter, recalled to the side, trapped Neil McKenzie (21) in the eighth over and after a stand of 52 for the fourth wicket, Sean Ervine (31) fell to a caught and bowled opportunity, as White found a leading edge and pouched a sharp, low return catch.
Vince moved nicely to within three runs of his half century when he lost another partner, Liam Dawson (12). A full-pitched delivery from Pattinson was flicked away by the right-hander but straight into the waiting hands of Adam Voges at midwicket.
The England Lion reached his half century (64 balls 4x4) and some long handle from Dimi Mascarenhas took the visitors beyond 150 with eight overs remaining.
Patel was then launched over the long-on ropes but Mascarenhas (19) fello soon afterwards, as his leg stump was knocked firmly back by the extra pace of Carter.
The 34th over produced a total of 17 runs as Vince hit Pattinson for 4-6-4 from consecutive deliveries but the same bowler then struck back in his next to have Kabir Ali (23) bagged at short fine by Carter.
On 90 Vince pulled Carter to deep square but Hales couldn’t hold the low chance. The Hampshire batsman had moved to 94 by the start of the final over but carefully kept the strike with a series of hard-run twos to ensure he reached the second one-day century of his career, before finishing on 102 not out (105 balls 7x4 1x6), with Chris Wood on 7.
Chasing 231 to win Hales and Wessels began brightly. The third over saw Mascarenhas hit for a straight-driven four by Hales and then a slog-sweep flew for six from the bat of his partner.
Hales hit Ali for consecutive boundaries through extra cover as 38-0 was posted in just four overs but only one more run had been added when Ervine got a hand to a difficult offering from Wessels.
Two more boundaries – off Dawson – took the Outlaws to 57-0 at the end of the sixth over, with Hales on 42.
Dawson had more treatment meted out to him in his second over as Wessels put him over the inner ring for three successive fours in an over that cost 19.
Hales pulled Chris Wood for the single that brought up his fifty (36 balls 8x4) in the ninth over. The breakthrough soon followed with the score on 89, as Wessels (38), attempting a reverse sweep against Danny Briggs, missed and was sent on his way lbw.
The total had moved on to 124 when Hales (70) was next to fall, chipping Briggs to Dawson at long off.
After dismissing both openers Hampshire took their second bowling power-play and looked to tighten things up against James Taylor and Samit Patel.
Both players kept the board ticking over though, until Patel unleashed a mighty blow off Ali which was caught by a spectator in the lower Hound Road Stand. He followed that blow by launching Dawson down the ground for another maximum.
They accelerated to a partnership of 71 before Patel (36) sliced Wood to backward point. Taylor reached his 50 (69 balls 2x4) and almost saw his side across the finishing line but with only three needed he hit firmly back to Katich to fall for 74.
A bye from the first ball of the 38th over saw Notts take the win, to leave Chris Read (1 not out), alongside Adam Voges, who was unbeaten on 7.
The success brought the Outlaws their second victory in three days over the existing group leaders. Their win over Surrey on Sunday saw that side deposed at the top by the Royals but, with their consecutive victories, the Outlaws are now up to third and sit just behind both southern counties.