Notts Outlaws have booked their place in the semi-finals of this summer’s YB40 competition for the first time since the tournament’s inception.
Finishing top of their group with 18 points, the Outlaws topped group A and will host Somerset at Trent Bridge on Monday 9 September.
Their campaign so far has included confident victories, nail-biting finishes and missed opportunities, but with the group stage completed, there is a chance to look back at what has been an excellent YB40 run.
Of the twelve matches in the group stages, Notts won nine, and lost only three, with Sussex Sharks the only side to beat the Outlaws both home and away. Only twice have the Outlaws failed to chase a target set by their opponents (once each to Sussex and Worcestershire), and when setting totals, they have only been overtaken once.
Notts’ YB40 success with the ball has come largely through their seam bowlers. Ajmal Shahzad is the side’s leading wicket-taker, with 17, though Harry Gurney (16), Jake Ball (15) and Steven Mullaney (14) are hot on Shahzad’s tail. Spin has been less fruitful, Samit Patel and Graeme White mustering 16 wickets between them.
Ajmal, almost predictably, tops the Outlaws’ YB40 bowling averages, his 20.35 significantly lower than second-placed Jake Ball’s 27.
Gurney claimed Notts’ only five-fer so far in this summer’s tournament during the Outlaws’ ultimately unsuccessful evening against Sussex at Trent Bridge. Second to Gurney’s 5-48 was Steven Mullaney’s List A-best 4-29 against Kent in May.
Of course, bowlers would be far less successful without their fielders., and every man in the Outlaws squad has taken at least one catch. While the fielding has been spread around the team to an extent, certain players’ safe hands are worthy of special mention.
Chris Read, ever-present behind the stumps, has taken nine catches and has four stumpings to his name. Samit Patel has taken 11, Mullaney 10 and Riki Wessels 7. Their combined 37 make up almost 70% of the total number of catches held.
So, then, to the batsmen. Three men have dominated the Outlaws’ campaign with the bat, led by the diminutive James Taylor. He currently has 543 YB40 runs to his name this summer, with an average of 77.57 thanks to ending three innings as a not out batsman.
Samit Patel is the other Notts player to have passed 513 List A runs in 2013, at another excellent average of 46.63. Behind him is opener Alex Hales, with an equally impressive 468 YB40 runs.
These three players have accounted for 65% of the runs the Outlaws have scored in this competition, but that isn’t to say that there haven’t been meaningful contributions from elsewhere.
David Hussey, as ever, has made quite the impression since his arrival at the end of June. His average currently stands at an imposing 72.5, and while he has only played in five YB40 matches, his explosive hitting has made quite an impact on this season’s statistics.
The fifty mark has been passed 14 times this summer, with each of Taylor, Patel and Hales going on to make centuries. Patel’s unbeaten 129 against Warwickshire the highest individual score recorded this summer.
With the Outlaws' batting lineup boasting all of this talent alongside the likes of Riki Wessels, Chris Read and the vastly underrated Steven Mullaney, Notts have every chance of blowing away Somerset on their arrival back in Nottingham and booking their place at Lord's for the YB40 final.
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