Notts Outlaws began their 2012 Friends Life t20 programme in style, with a thoroughly convincing 6-wicket victory over the Leicestershire Foxes at Grace Road.
An outstanding performance by the bowling unit skittled the defending champions out for only 96 in 17.3 overs, with Steven Mullaney taking career-best figures of 4-19, with Darren Pattinson, Samit Patel and Adam Voges each collecting two of the other wickets to fall.
Requiring less than five per over, the Outlaws raced to their target in just thirteen overs, with Michael Lumb ending on 25 not out.
Voges felt that early blows had been important in the success. “We want our new ball bowlers to be aggressive this year,” he said. “And Darren Pattinson gave us that tonight, knocking over two of their top order batsmen. That made it a bit easier when Mullaney and Patel came on to put the squeeze on. I’m very pleased with how it went and we just asked Michael Lumb to reign himself in a bit with the bat and make sure he got us over the line.”
Mullaney’s bowling secured him the man-of-the match award. “Obviously I’m very pleased with how it went. I just tried to vary my pace and mix it up a little bit and fortunately it came off for me tonight. It was important to get Sarwan we did and we can take pride in that performance and look to take those standards into our next game on Friday.”
After pre-match entertainment that included a twenty minute set from former X-Factor finalist Andy Abrahams and a short release of fireworks, the Foxes openers began against a new ball pairing of Harry Gurney – playing against his former county – and Darren Pattinson.
Pattinson struck with just his fourth delivery. After conceding successive boundaries he nipped one back into the off stump of Josh Cobb (9) to leave the home side on 12-1.
The same bowler struck again in his second over, having Jacques du Toit (11) sent on his way to an lbw decision.
Matthew Boyce, who took four catches as a fielding substitute in last year’s final, fell in Steven Mullaney’s opening over for 9, chipping straight back to the bowler.
Bowling wicket to wicket Mullaney struck a major blow in his next over as former West Indian Test star Ramnaresh Sarwan (13) emulated Boyce by also hitting straight back to the bowler, although the catch was far from routine.
Mullaney claimed a third scalp as Kadeer Ali (6) hit out to Wessels at long on and Samit Patel joined the list of wicket-takers as the dangerous Abdul Razzaq (5) played around a full delivery and was also given out leg before wicket.
The first maximum – Wayne White (13) off Patel – was followed by the fall of another wicket as the England all-rounder fired one through the defences to clatter into the unprotected stumps.
At 82-7 after 14 overs the home side were in disarray and the position worsened as Mullaney returned to the attack to collect his fourth wicket.
Robert Taylor (3) tried to whip the medium-pacer through midwicket but his lofted shot was well-taken low down by skipper Voges.
The captain gave himself a bowl as the sixth member of the attack and induced Claude Henderson (3) into miscuing into the offside and Patel took an excellent running catch.
Two balls later, after the batsmen had crossed, Matthew Hoggard went first ball to Voges, the third lbw of the innings, as the innings ended for just 96 – Leicestershire’s lowest-ever in the short format, with no-one making more than 13.
Apart from enjoying his side’s outstanding performance in the field, the Outlaws skipper was also able to celebrate his first two T20 wickets for Notts.
Alex Hales (5) fell early in the reply, nicking Hoggard to slip and Wessels (9) followed, hitting around a full delivery from the same bowler.
A partnership of 31 in just 3.5 overs, between Michael Lumb and Adam Voges sped the batting side towards their target but Leics were able to strike again in the 8th over.
Rob Taylor, who had played against Notts for Loughborough MCCU in April, managed to breech the defences of the Australian to bowl him for 21.
Samit Patel (17) looked to bring the game to a rapid conclusion with three boundaries in an over off Claude Henderson but when he tried again he could only find Razzaq at long off.
The dismissal brought James Taylor to the crease and the former Fox caressed his first delivery, from White, to the point boundary.
Taking a liking to the bowling Taylor decided to wrap things up in a hurry, hitting three of his next five balls to the ropes also, to end on 16 not out, leaving Lumb with the satisfaction of making the highest score of the evening.
The Outlaws are next in action on Friday evening, when they face Derbyshire Falcons at Trent Bridge.
Support Notts Outlaws in Friends Life t20 action at Trent Bridge:
v Derbyshire Falcons - Friday 15 June 5.00pm
v Durham Dynamos - Friday 29 June 6.00pm
v Lancashire Lightning - Tuesday 3 Jul;y 6.10pm
v Yorkshire Carnegie - Thursday 5 July 7.00pm
v Leicestershire Foxes - Sunday 8 July 2.40pm
Ticket Prices - Click here to buy online
In advance: Adults £13 / Under 16s £7 / Senior Citizens £7 / Family (2+2 £33)
On the day: Adults £16 / Under 16s £8 / Senior Citizens £16 / Family (2+2 £40)
Ticket Offers - Call 0844 8118711 9.30am-4.30pm Monday-Friday
Under 16s Season Tickets £22
Under 21s Season Tickets £32
Groups of 10 or more adults: £10.40 per ticket
Groups of 8 juniors and two adults: £69
Click here to visit the Notts Outlaws Friends Life t20 microsite and view the Put Some Colour In Your Cricket Campaign video.