Alex Hales' hard-hitting innings of 62 helped speed the Notts Outlaws to a 6-wicket victory over Yorkshire Vikings and, with it, a confirmed place in the quarter finals of this season’s Friends Life t20 competition.
Hales scored his runs from just 38 deliveries faced, with 4 fours and 5 sixes as his side raced to their target, after Yorkshire, who had opted to bat first, had posted 132 for seven.
Shortly after Notts had secured the win came the news that Derbyshire Falcons had been defeated by Leicestershire Foxes to seal a quarter-final berth for Mick Newell’s team for the fourth year in a row.
The first ball of the match almost produced a wicket but Samit Patel, at second slip, couldn’t hold on to Adam Lyth’s flash off Harry Gurney.
Patel fared better when he was given the ball for the second over. His first delivery knocked back the off stump of Alex Lees (1), who was making his county debut in the competition.
Yorkshire’s start deteriorated further as Patel struck again, aided by a stunning boundary catch from Graeme White to remove Dan Hodgson (4).
Roles were reversed when Patel caught Gary Ballance (3) at long on, to give White his 12th wicket of the competition.
Lyth played on to Jake Ball for 23, an horrific mix-up saw Jack Leaning run out for just four and another debutant, Will Rhodes, was bowled by Gurney for 13.
Rich Pyrah scored 42 from just 25 balls, with 6 fours and one towering six from the bowling of Ian Butler.
Patel, who finished with figures of three for 17, returned to bowl the final over and celebrated as Pyrah found the safe hands of Steven Mullaney in the deep.
Notts lost both Michael Lumb (6) and Patel (2) early in their reply but Hales was in imperious form, hitting Iain Wardlow for two sixes in the fifth over, after Adam Lyth had also disappeared high over the ropes.
David Hussey continued to rotate the strike allowing the England international to play his shots. After bringing up his fifty from just 34 deliveries Hales hit back-to-back maximums off Azeem Rafiq before holing out to Ballance looking for a third.
With the finishing line in sight, Hussey was bowled by Liam Plunkett for 28 but Riki Wessels and Chris Read saw Notts safely to victory, with 23 balls to spare.
The Outlaws no head the group on run-rate from Lancashire Lightning, whom they meet at Trent Bridge on Sunday to determine which side will have home advantage in the quarter finals.
Click here to purchase tickets for Sunday's Friends Life t20 match against Lancashire Lightning at Trent Bridge (play starts 2.40pm).
Notts Outlaws Friends Life t20 matches at Trent Bridge:
Sunday 28 July Vs Lancashire Lightning - 2.40pm TICKETS
Buy In Advance & Save:
Adult tickets £13 / Under 16s and Over 65s £7 / Family ticket (2+2) £33
On the day prices:
Adult tickets £16 / Under 16s / Over 65s £16 / Family ticket (2+2) £40
Read our free Friends Life t20 Event Guide here.