Michael Lumb struck a composed fifty as Notts Outlaws began their Friends Life t20 campaign with a comfortable win over Leicestershire Foxes at Trent Bridge.
Chasing a victory target of 184, the home team eased to victory with 14 balls to spare, aided by potent early cameos from Alex Hales (24) and Riki Wessels (15).
David Hussey and James Taylor saw the home side over the line with an 84-run partnership to the delight of a healthy crowd of 7,390. Hussey played fluently throughout for an unbeaten 49 with Taylor (37 not out) content with a supporting role.
Leicestershire had started strongly with openers Niall O’Brien and visiting captain Josh Cobb sharing a 40-run partnership. Cobb struck Nottinghamshire’s new New Zealander Ian Butler out of the park with a lofty off-drive but the debutant bowler made an instant reply with a length ball that evaded his step and swipe before removing middle stump to end the opening stand.
A delayed toss under grey skies had influenced Hussey’s decision to insert Leicestershire but the visitors found some favour from the damp ball early on. Hussey’s throw at the stumps with Niall O’Brien short of his ground evaded the back up for four overthrows as the Outlaws were briefly troubled.
Samit Patel drew Joe Burns to charge down and mistime an intended drive over extra cover to allow Chris Read a routine stumping before Leicestershire reached 82 for two after 10 overs. In a frenetic eleventh over, Shakib Al-Hasan hit Jake Ball for consecutive boundaries before offering a chance to Hussey which evaded his grasp after a fingertip deflection.
Al-Hasan (31) continued to attack but Patel stayed cool under the high ball to accept a return catch before Hussey bowled Niall O’Brien (47) and had Matt Boyce stumped in consecutive balls as momentum shifted in the fourteenth. Butler had a short-pitched delivery gloved by Shiv Thakor (8) on his return and Thornley (8) quickly followed.
Eckersley’s last ball six gave Leicestershire 183 runs to defend but expensive spells from Nathan Buck, Rob Taylor and Michael Thornley dashed their hopes.