Notts Outlaws completed a 22-run victory over Yorkshire Vikings in the NatWest T20 Blast competition at Trent Bridge.
In a low-scoring contest the Outlaws could only post 143 for nine, after electing to bat first, with captain James Taylor scoring an unbeaten 52, making his runs from 38 balls, with 5 fours and a six. Ryan Sidebottom returned figures of three for 24 for the visitors.
Yorkshire could only muster 121 for nine in reply, with Luke Fletcher taking three for 21.
The big fast bowler was understandably delighted with the outcome.
“It was massive for us to get Aaaron Finch so early, I just tried to cramp him for room and was a bit lucky in that he worked it straight into the hands of Harry Gurney,” said Fletcher.
He added, ““Samit and Mull were immense for us, really brought their run-rate down and kept us in it and then I was pleased to come back and get those two wickets at the end. I spend hours practising bowling yorkers with our coach Andy Pick and it was nice to see it all pay off when it mattered.
“This was a huge win for us and keeps our momentum going.”
After the wash-out at New Road on Friday evening the Outlaws were able to give a debut to New Zealand’s international all-rounder, James Franklin, who replaced Sam Wood in the starting eleven.
In front of a crowd of 8,841, the Vikings lost their way once pace had been taken off the ball during their pursuit of 144. Despite losing Aaron Finch and Andrew Gale during the powerplay overs they were still in control until Steven Mullaney and Samit Patel entered the attack.
Mullaney didn’t pick up a wicket but only conceded 17 runs in his four overs, as well as executing a fine turn and throw to run out Adam Lyth off his bowling.
Patel, who ended with two for 19, induced Jonny Bairstow into a rush of blood, which saw him held by Alex Hales at long on and then removed Alex Lees for a run-a-ball 37.
Tim Bresnan and Adil Rashid added 43 in 5 overs to reignite hopes of a Yorkshire triumph but the rate was always climbing.
The 19th over effectively settled the contest, with Harry Gurney having both Bresnan and Rich Pyrah taken at deep midwicket by James Franklin, in the space of only three deliveries.
Two Fletcher yorkers accounted for both Rashid and Oliver Robinson, to complete the Outlaws’ fifth win out of their last six home meetings against the White Rose county.
Earlier in the afternoon, Sidebottom, returning to one of his old hunting grounds, struck in the first over of the match, removing former Yorkshire batsman Phil Jaques for 0.
The Australian had tried to open the face but only succeeding in guiding the ball into the hands of wicketkeeper Bairstow. Hales hit Bresnan for a huge 6 but then drilled the next delivery firmly back into the hands of the bowler.
Riki Wessels, off the back of four consecutive scores of 50 or more, then hoisted Pyrah to extra cover, all inside the first 4.2 overs.
Notts looked to be getting back on course as Patel picked up three boundaries in quick succession but he then backed away, to give himself room, and was bowled by a top-spinner from Rafiq.
Franklin, on his Nottinghamshire debut, made a fine impression as he bludgeoned 27 from 23 deliveries, with 2 fours and a six.
He helped add 48 in 6 overs with his skipper but then holed out off Bresnan.
Gale entrusted the final four overs of the Outlaws innings to the experienced Sidebottom and the youngster Robinson and both were rewarded with crucial wickets, all thanks to catches in the deep.
Sidebottom removed Chris Read cheaply and responded to being hit for 6 by Ajmal Shahzad by dismissing him next ball.
Robinson, who finished with figures of two for 25, removed Mullaney and Fletcher but then saw Taylor hit him down the ground to reach his 50 from the final ball of the innings.
The win consolidates the Outlaws’ third place position in the North Division, two points behind both Worcestershire and Lancashire, with Yorkshire, in fifth, 3 points further adrift but with 2 games in hand.