Notts Outlaws have moved into the top four qualifying positions of the North Group of the NatWest T20 Blast after defeating Derbyshire Falcons at Derby.
A half century from Tom Moores, his first in the competition, was instrumental in the visitors posting 189 for four and the bowling unit were able to defend that total to take a narrow 8-run victory.
Moores made 57, scoring his runs from 34 balls, an innings that brought him the sponsors man of the match award. The 20-year old wicketkeeper – batsman had good support from Riki Wessels, who made 30, with Brendan Taylor, Dan Christian and Samit Patel also weighing in with handy contributions.
Derbyshire, who remain top of the North Group table, despite the loss, could only muster 181 for seven in reply, with Luis Reece scoring 53.
Jake Ball, with three for 33, returned the leading bowling figures but Christian’s two for 17 from two overs were vital, as was Harry Gurney’s spell of four overs for only 24 runs
Set to score 190 to stretch their lead at the top, the Falcons lost Billy Godleman to just the second ball of the innings, nicking Patel behind.
Tom Wood made 24 but it was the contribution of Reece, celebrating his 27th birthday, that threatened to spoil the night for the Outlaws.
The former Lancashire left-hander scored his 50 from just 26 balls, with three big sixes.
Christian removed Reece in his first over, the 11th and then returned for a second over but sent down three wides. This eventually worked in his favour as with the ninth ball of the over Gary Wilson hit the Australian to Patel at extra cover.
Ball removed Wayne Madsen for 31 and when Ish Sodhi pinned Daryn Smit lbw it appeared as if Notts were certainties to repeat their win at Trent Bridge from two weeks ago.
Things tilted again as Alex Hughes raced to 26 but when Ball removed him it meant that 16 were required from the final over.
Gurney, although ending the night without a wicket, sent down a remarkably good over to frustrate the batsmen and ensure that his side returned home with the points.
Earlier, Notts had captain Christian to thank for an explosive end to their innings. The big-hitter launched the final two deliveries of the innings high over the ropes, from Kiwi Matt Henry, to nudge the total past 180.
The Falcons opted to take pace off the ball in the early stages, with Madsen bowling three of the first six overs, removing Alex Hales for seven in the process.
Wessels, who hit a century when the sides met at Trent Bridge, plundered three fours and two sixes in his 37 before being bowled by Hughes.
The opener should have been taken in the third over but was spilled by Henry in the deep off Imran Tahir. To add salt into the wound, the fielder parried the ball over the ropes for six.
Moores revelled in the chance to apply some big shots and hit three sixes in his first T20 half century. He eventually skied Tahir to cover to end a classy knock
Taylor’s 23 was an innings of the utmost composure and class but when he fell Christian and Patel rattled up an unbroken 58 together to put the target just out of reach.
The win, coupled with other results in the group, means that Notts go fourth and could go top with a win over Durham Jets at Trent Bridge on Saturday.