Samit Patel’s first one-day century for three years guided Notts Outlaws to a stunning 6-wicket victory over Warwickshire and maintained their 100 per cent start to this season’s Yorkshire Bank 40 programme.
Patel scored an undefeated 129 as Notts reached their victory target of 239 with five balls remaining.
The 28-year old had arrived at the crease in the sixth over, after Notts had lost both Alex Hales and Michael Lumb inside the first six overs and hit 12 boundaries and four towering sixes in his 123-ball knock.
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Not only was it Samit’s highest score in white ball cricket he rated it as one of his best. “Certainly in terms of striking the ball, it has to be one of my best innings. The important thing was it contributed to a victory, it wouldn’t have meant anything if we hadn’t gone on to win the game so I was delighted to see us over the line.
“We are well set in the group now”, continued Patel. “There’s a potential banana-skin coming up against the Netherlands but we are in a really good position and playing good cricket in this competition.”
Notts made four changes from the side which completed the county championship match against Derbyshire 24 hours earlier. Out went Luke Fletcher, Andre Adams, Paul Franks and the injured Riki Wessels.
Taking their place were the recalled Alex Hales and Ajmal Shahzad plus regular one-dayers Jake Ball and Graeme White.
Wessels’ thumb injury also enabled Ed Cowan to extend his time as a Trent Bridge player by featuring at home in the YB40 for the first time.
Notts secured an early breakthrough as Harry Gurney made a mess of Will Porterfield’s stumps (4) in the third over.
Varun Chopra appeared scratchy at the start of his innings but was allowed to settle in and rotate the strike by the fluency of his skipper, Jim Troughton.
The pair added 65 before Notts struck again, with Steven Mullaney taking a routine caught and bowled as Troughton (36) was deceived by the change in pace.
Chopra (37) was the third to go, hitting Graeme White forcefully to Samit Patel at extra cover and then Patel claimed a wicket of his own as Rikki Clarke (9) lofted out to Mullaney in the deep.
Darren Maddy (56) and Tim Ambrose (55) made contrasting fifties during a stand of 94. Maddy, 39-years of age, blazed 9 fours and a six in his half century, hitting 26 from just six deliveries at one stage.
Ambrose was more subdued, reaching his milestone from 62 balls, with only one boundary.
Gurney removed Maddy, courtesy of another Mullaney catch and then Ambrose was run out by Patel, backing up too far.
White caught Steffan Piolet (7) to give Gurney his third victim and some late hitting from Ateeq Javid (21 not out) saw the Bears reach 238-7.
Hales (6) hit his second ball for four but was then castled by the first delivery of the third over as Oliver Hannon-Dalby marked his return from injury in impressive fashion.
Lumb, 24 hours after completing his career-best first class score of 221 not out, hit his first ball (from Javid) for four and then reached double figures by slapping Hannon-Dalby for a flat six.
Despite hitting another maximum, the left-hander scored only 21 but should have fallen earlier but for a comical slip by Javid, whose feet slipped from underneath him as he positioned himself to take a routine chance at third man.
Notts overcame his loss as Patel and James Taylor combined with a punishing third-wicket stand of 125 to take the match away from the Bears.
Taylor, who took his aggregate of runs to 318 in this season’s competition, for just three dismissals, appeared set for his fourth score of fifty or above this summer until being over-ambitious and lifting a ramp shot to third man off Maddy when on 46.
Cowan (10) was run out by Porterfield when backing up too far but there would be no denying Patel, as he progressed to his highest one-day score before finishing the match with a straight six off Hannon-Dalby.
Whilst last year’s defeated finalists slumped to their fifth loss of the current campaign, their victors celebrated a sixth straight win, their best start to a one-day season since 1976.