Friday night cricket has an added edge this week as Notts Outlaws host local rivals and recent conquests Derbyshire Falcons at home. Derbyshire are yet to win a game in the Natwest T20 Blast competition and its likely they’ll arrive at Trent Bridge hoping to overturn their streak of bad luck and right the wrongs of the rivalry’s last meeting.
For the Outlaws however Friday’s match has particular importance as the team are needing to overcome last week’s defeat to the Birmingham Bears at home.
The Outlaws have won just one of their three home games whilst The Falcons fare worse, having failed to secure victory in any of their five games.
In the domestic T20 tournament Notts and Derbyshire have played each other more than any other team. From their 21 games against The Falcons, The Outlaws have been successful on 14 occasions, both at home and away.
In series past, the odds favoured the Outlaws who qualified for the quarter finals for three successive years from 2010-2013, whereas The Falcons are yet to progress beyond the group stages.
Despite a less than perfect start to their campaign, Notts will be hoping that their success in this fixture last time round, together with the confidence earned from previous tournaments will guarantee them a victory over their neighbours.
Friday will mark two weeks since the teams both squared up and the memory of what took place on June 6th is still fresh in the minds of fans and players alike.
The Falcons won the toss and elected to bat, which quickly appeared to be a questionable decision as opening bastman Stephen Moore was caught and bowled by Harry Gurney for a duck in the first minute of the game.
The Outlaws bowling unit took charge then, with Andy Carter dismissing Wes Durston for 7 and Ajmal Shazad claimed his first wicket with the help of Stephen Mullaney who held a catch to see Tom Knight removed for 9.
After a partial collapse at the top, the middle order fared better as Wayne Masden claimed 36 off 27 balls and Marcus North earned his half century before being caught by Wessles off the bowling of Andy Carter.
Alex Hales helped The Outlaws’ efforts in the field by taking a second catch, and ‘shushing’ the braying home fans as he did so, to give Samit Patel his second wicket of the match and remove Scott Elstone for 17.
It fell to Harry Gurney to finish the job for the visitors, a task to which he replied by bowling Gareth Cross for 5.
The Falcons concluded their twenty overs on 164-7; a target which proved to be attainable for The Outlaws.
The reluctant T20 specialist Alex Hales took charge of proceedings by smashing 63 from 32 balls and scoring 11 fours in his innings.
Opening partner Michael Lumb struggled to find rhythm before losing his wicket on 21 under the bowling of Mark Footitt and a catch from Tony Palladino. James Taylor and Samit Patel were dismissed cheaply for 2 and 3 respectively. Taylor was caught and bowled by Tim Groenewald to give him his first wicket whilst a catch from Marcus North helped Mark Footitt to his second and sent Patel back to the stands.
Riki Wessles managed 26 from 22 balls and Steven Mullaney was the last man in for Notts, scoring 18 runs to bring The Outlaw’s total to 165-5. A comfortable win for Notts with 5 wickets remaining.
Played For Them Both
The Outlaws may come up against some familiar faces at the other end of the A52. Both Mark Footitt and Scott Elstone are in line to appear for the Falcons against the side where they began their careers.
AJ Harris (pictured), another to have spent time on the staff at Trent Bridge is currently part of the coaching staff at Derby.
Amongst other players to have appeared for both counties are: Brian Bolus, Wayne Dessaur, Matt Dowman, Richard Hodgkinson, John Morris, Akhil Patel, Harold Rhodes, Mark Saxelby and Pat Vaulkhard.
Howstat? Notts v Derbyshire, T20 Stats
Derbys 192-6 (2010) Trent Bridge
Notts 203-8 (2007) Trent Bridge
Derbys 114-8 (2008) County Ground, Derby
Notts 94 all out in 19.1 overs (2003) County Ground, Derby
Highest Individual Score
Derbys 111 WJ Durston (2010) Trent Bridge
Notts 90* GP Swann (2009) County Ground, Derby
Derbys 4-13 T Lungley (2003) County Ground, Derby
Notts 4-20 A Carter (2011) Trent Bridge
Derbys PMR Havell (2004), TJ Friend (2005), GM Smith (2007), WL Madsen (2010), TC Knight (2011)
Notts DJ Bicknell, PJ McMahon, MHA Footitt (all 2005)
In terms of T20 pedigree the odds seem to favour the Outlaws again, Samit Patel is the leading run scorer for the team in this format with 1924 to his name in addition to his having collected the most wickets in a career at 85.
Not too far behind him in the run chase is Alex Hales on 1551 and The Outlaws’ keeper Chris Read owns bragging rights for creating most dismissals in an innings against Derbyshire in 2013 with three catches.