After seeing off Kent Spitfires in the final match of this summer’s YB40 group stages, Notts Outlaws have sealed passage into the competition’s semi-finals, topping Group A in the process.
This will mean the return of white-ball cricket to Trent Bridge for the final time this season, and in their way are Somerset, a familiar foe for the Outlaws in limited-overs cricket.
This time around, they won Group C with 17 points, picking up eight wins (and a solitary point from their fixture with no result against Unicorns) from their twelve fixtures in the round-robin stages.
Somerset have come agonisingly close to lifting the 40-over trophy before, in 2010 Warwickshire Bears completed a three-wicket victory in the Outlaws’ opponents in the final over at Lord’s.
They have only tasted defeat on three occasions, narrowly against Glamorgan, and earlier against Middlesex and Leicestershire. Interestingly, all three of those have come after Somerset had batted first, while they have overtaken every total set for them by their opposition.
Their prowess with the bat will leave a familiar, sour taste in the mouths of Notts fans, but without Kieran Pollard this time around, Somerset’s top four have been plundering runs all summer.
In Peter Trego’s eleven YB40 innings, he has scored 705 runs, high scoring with 140 against Yorkshire. Thanks to him completing an innings three times, his average stands at an impressive 88.12.
Craig Kieswetter (126) and James Hildreth (102) have also scored YB40 centuries for Somerset this summer, and while neither have passed 300 runs in the competition, both have shown their ability to punish bowlers when offered a chance.
These men, combined with excellent contributions from elsewhere, saw Somerset finish the group stages with the highest run rate of any team in the YB40.
In more uplifting news for Notts fans, Somerset are likely to be without Jos Buttler, who will be keeping wicket for England in their Natwest ODI series against Australia.
Of course, the YB40 is far more than a batsman’s game, and Somerset have excellend with the ball throughout the group stages. The pick of their bowlers has been Craig Meschede, whose astonishing 4-5 against Leicestershire tops the county’s bowling figures, which also include 4-fers from three other men.
Alfonso Thomas excelled against Yorkshire, taking 4-41 from six overs, while Steve Kirby and Adam Dibble have both recorded 4-52.
A challenge for the Outlaws, then, but one which they will be confident of rising to and with both sides just two victories from silverware, there’s everything to play for.
Notts Outlaws v Somerset will take place on Monday 9 September, with play starting at 4.10pm.
Tickets will be on sale to members from 9.30am on Thursday 29th August, in person at the ticket office, over the telephone on 0844 811 8711, or by clicking here.
Tickets will then go on general sale online only from 4.30pm on Thursday 29th August, and in person and over the phone from 9.30am on Friday 30th August.
Ticket prices are as follows:
In advance (until 1pm Saturday 7th September):
Adults £10 / Over 65s £7 / Under 16s £2
On the day (after the above time)
Adults £15 / Over 65s £15 / Under 16s £5
Yorkshire Bank 40 Hospitality Boxes
Hospitality boxes are also available for the semi-final, at a cost of £59 + VAT per head, which boasts the following:
Use of suite with private balcony overlooking field of play,
Traditional afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches and cakes served on arrival,
Hot main course dish served in your suite during the interval,
Selection of cheese and biscuits with chutney served during the 2 innings,
Host to look after your guests' drinks requirements (pay on the day),
Car parking (1:4).
This package is available to groups numbering 8 upwards, and can be booked via the Hospitality hotline: 0844 811 8710