Notts Outlaws pulled off their second highest run chase of all-time to ensure home advantage in the quarter finals of the NatWest T20 Blast.

Man of the match Alex Hales fired 67 from 40 balls to lead the reply but even with his effort a win looked unlikely with 39 needed from the last 3 overs.

James Taylor and James Franklin combined in the most explosive manner though, to wrap things up with 4 balls to spare.

Earlier, the Outlaws ran into an in-form T20 star as Australia’s Aaron Finch bludgeoned an explosive 89 as the Yorkshire Vikings made 200-5, after electing to bat first at Headingley.

The 6-wicket defeat was especially crushing for the Vikings, who miss out on a quarter final spot as a result.

Jake Ball returned to the Outlaws starting line-up, coming in for Harry Gurney, who tweaked a calf in the win at Northampton on Wednesday.

The home side elected to bat first and sent out their two overseas stars, Finch and Kane Williamson.

After only 2 came from Fletcher’s opening over Finch exploded against Ajmal Shahzad in the second, hitting his first ball over the extra cover ropes for 6 and followed it up with back-to-back boundaries.

The early momentum was temporarily halted in the fourth over when Ball struck to trap Williamson lbw (6). Alex Lees immediately picked up the tempo though and the over eventually cost 16 runs, despite the breakthrough.

Yorkshire’s 50 came up after 5.2 overs but the next delivery saw Ball strike again, this time Lees (16) going the way of his predecessor as umpire Neil Bainton raised his finger.

At 52-2 at the end of the powerplay there was no disguising that Notts had hauled themselves back into contention with those two strikes.

Finch remained the danger, epitomised by a huge 6 out of the ground off Patel, in the ninth over. The replacement ball also went the distance and his fourth six, in the next over, off Mullaney, brought up a splendid half century (27 balls 3x4 4x6).

A fifth maximum, off Shahzad, sailed into the Western Stand to take the Vikings to 99-2 in the 11th over and Patel disappeared for another one.

The Australian, on a flat track, was doing as he liked. One of the world’s best T20 players, he was giving the Headingley fans something to remember him by on his final appearance of the season for them.

Ball, switching to the Kirkstall Lane end, also received the Finch treatment as the Victorian sailed into the 80s with a monster blow over long on.

Franklin finally brought the onslaught to an end, thanks to a stunning legside catch from Chris Read, diving full length to take the tickle from Finch (89).

A Mullaney shy at the stumps unfortunately went for 4 overthrows in the 15th over but he made amends in the next by grabbing his first wicket. Andrew Gale (5) skied a high swirler which Read judged nicely.

Jonny Bairstow, who had impressed from the start, despite the fluency of Finch at the other end, launched Fletcher into the stands on his way to his own 50 (27 balls 9x4 1x6).

The 200 came up from the penultimate ball but the home side couldn’t end with a flourish as Bairstow (60) lifted the final ball of the innings into the hands of Sam Wood in the deep.

It gave Ball figures of 3-38 on his comeback, Mullaney finished with 3-0-28-1 and Franklin picked up 1-8 from his only over.

Notts set off in pursuit of 201 and after a couple of quiet overs Mullaney (22) hit Ryan Sidebottom for successive sixes, one a pull, the other deliberately lifted up and over point.

His joy was shortlived, however, as an attemped pull off Bresnan only looped to Lees at mid on.

Hales opened his shoulders for the first time to plant Rich Pyrah several rows back and then cut Adam Lyth for 2 fours as Notts forged ahead by 5 runs at the end of the powerplay.

Riki Wessels slapped Adil Rashid into the crowd in the seventh over and Hales nearly gave Azeem Rafiq a return catch in the next.

The pair brought up their 50 partnership from 38 balls but Notts were half a dozen runs behind at the halfway stage, on 86-1.

That was remedied by Hales, who lifted Rashid for consecutive sixes in the next.

Wessels holed out for 29 (27 balls 3x4 1x6) and Hales nearly followed, the ball bursting through Williamson’s fingers for the 2 he needed for 50 (30 balls 4x4 3x6).

85 were needed from 7 overs and that immediately was reduced as Patel hit Rafiq for six over a widish long on.

The first ball of Bresnan’s third over set Notts back on their heels as Hales’ brilliant counter ended with a hit out to Rafiq at deep midwicket. The England opener had faced 40 balls (6x4 3x6) for his 67.

Another Patel 6, off Pyrah, raised spirits again, leaving 56 needed from 29 balls.

James Taylor hit consecutive fours off Sidebottom in the 17th but he lost Patel (26) in the next, hitting Pyrah out to Finch on the straight boundary.

Franklin hit his first two balls miles over the ropes, to dampen home enthusiasm but even the most ardent Notts fan couldn’t have imagined how the game would swing so dramatically.

Sidebottom began the penultimate over with 26 still needed – Taylor’s 4446 to end the over was simply sensational and left Franklin to hit another six from the second ball of the final over to seal the win.

Taylor (35 not out, 14 balls 6x4 1x6) and Franklin (19 not out, 6 balls 3x6) had plundered 39 from 13 deliveries to win the match in the most dramatic style imaginable.

The win means the Outlaws will now face Hampshire at Trent Bridge on Sunday 3 August in their last-eight tie, a repeat of the 2012 quarter final which the south coast side won. 


Tickets for Notts Outlaws’ NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final against Hampshire at 2.30pm on Sunday 3 August at Trent Bridge will go on sale online at 2pm on Saturday.

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