Notts Outlaws began their Yorkshire Bank 40 programme with an emphatic victory against Northants Steelbacks at Wantage Road.
James Taylor’s second one-day century for the Outlaws, plus 95 from Samit Patel and 50 from Alex Hales lifted the visitors to a score of 287-4. In reply Northants subsided to 92-7 before eventually mustering a total of 204-8 to lose by 83 runs.
Patel’s fine day continued with the ball, picking up figures of 3-30. “It’s nice to get runs and wickets in the same game,” said the all-rounder.
“It was a fair effort from the side, Tich (Taylor) batted beautifully after Bas (Hales) had set it up early on. It was all about building a good platform and today we took advantage.
“Obviously I’m disappointed not to get to a hundred but to do a job for the boys is more important, then me and Swanny tied it up with the ball.”
Taylor was also happy to again score runs at Northampton, after a Lions century in 2012.
“These are great cricket wickets here, with good pace and bounce. They’re nice and true with a fast outfield. I’ve enjoyed some success here and long may it continue.
"It was all about building a good platform and today we took advantage." Samit Patel
“It wasn’t my most fluent innings by any means, not one of my best but it’s how many you get, not how you got them – and it’s always more important when you score runs in a win.
“We’re all pleased we’ve started with a victory and are desperate to do well in this competition.”
Chris Read won the toss and elected to bat first in the Group A clash, with Ed Cowan and Luke Fletcher missing out from the selected squad of 13.
Michael Lumb (5) departed in the second over, caught at point off Trent Copeland but Hales and Taylor overcame the setback by blitzing their way to a fifty partnership in just under ten overs together.
Hales had a life on 48, spilled at short fine by Kyle Coetzer off Steven Crook. His half-century arrived shortly afterwards (50 balls, 6x4) but he failed to add to it as Crook got his revenge with the England t20 opener bowled, looking for runs through the leg side.
Patel joined Taylor and took the score to 98-2 at the halfway stage of the innings. Both had played for the England Lions against the West Indies on the same ground last year and clearly relished the opportunity of displaying their talents in front of a decent crowd in ideal conditions.
The batting power-play was taken at the start of the 29th over with Notts on 154-2 but they could have suffered a further setback immediately as Patel on 34 was put down in the deep, again by Coetzer.
Taylor put Andrew Hall over the midwicket rope for the first maximum of the innings, with the century stand coming up inside 14 overs.Patel’s own 50 (45 balls, 5x4) came up in the 33rd over, with the team 200 arriving two deliveries later.
Taylor’s seventh one-day century (98 balls, 9x4, 1x6) duly arrived as the third wicket stand went on to realise 149 runs.
Patel was missed on 61 as ‘keeper Ben Duckett, making his debut for Northants, failed to collect and execute a stumping opportunity.The bowler, James Middlebrook, suffered as a result with the next three balls disappearing for 6-4-4.
Taylor’s (108) terrific knock ended with a catch at long on, off Crooks, who wasn’t spared any time to celebrate as Riki Wessels arrived in the middle to heave his second ball away for another maximum.
Wessels (17 not out), returning to his old county, also hit Olli Stone away for six as the bowlers struggled under the onslaught.
The final over began with Patel on 95 but his wonderful innings (66 balls, 11x4, 1x6) didn’t get the finale it deserved as Copeland ran out to cover to take a caught and bowled with the batsman giving himself room to try and clear the off side.
With the required run rate at over 7 per over Northants needed a fast start but they were kept in check as both Harry Gurney and Andy Carter delivered early maidens.
Nevertheless, they’d posted 59-0 from the opening ten overs before Notts got the first breakthrough with Patel bowling Peters (21).It became two wickets in ten balls as Coetzer (30) then lost his off peg to an explosive delivery from Jake Ball.
David Sales, who made a century in the early April friendly between the two sides, joined Steelbacks skipper Alex Wakeley (1).
Patel continued his outstanding day by hitting the stumps once more, with Wakeley attempting a reverse sweep. From 59-0 it had become 62-3 in the space of twelve deliveries.
The situation worsened as Notts made it four wickets in as many overs as Sales (1) slashed Ball into the hands of Taylor at point.
Duckett (9), the England Under-19 ‘keeper, then tried to sweep Patel and gloved it up for Read to take an easy catch.
Graeme Swann, with a reputation for striking early, took only 3 deliveries to drag Crook (1) forward, with Read making the routine stumping.In his first one-day match for Notts since April 2009, Swann bowled tidily, taking 1-15 from seven overs.
Steven Mullaney joined the list of wicket-takers, having Matt Spriegel (11) caught at mid on by Carter.
Middlebrook and Hall stemmed the tide with a well-paced accumulation during the latter stages of the innings.
The duo used the available time to put together a partnership of 97 with Hall (58 not out) reaching his fifty (60 balls, 6x4) as the game dwindled to its conclusion with Gurney bowling Middlebrook (43) in the penultimate over.
Notts Outlaws are next in action on Wednesday 8 May when they entertain Kent Spitfires at Trent Bridge.