Will Fraine, Paul Coughlin and Matt Milnes all pushed their claims for inclusion in Notts Outlaws’ starting XI for their Vitality Blast game Northamptonshire Steelbacks tonight with impressive performances in a Second XI T20 match against the same county.
In the first game of a double header played at Worksop College, Fraine blasted a century, Coughlin hit a quickfire 39 off 20 balls and Milnes took 4-23 in an emphatic 51-run victory, sealing their respective places in a 14-man squad that will travel to the County Ground.
Whoever now gets promoted to play for the first team will be making their T20 debut for the Club.
At Worksop, Northamptonshire won the toss and chose to bat but were soon on the receiving end of a 99-run partnership between Chris Gibson (23) and Will Fraine in 10.3 overs.
The latter was eventually caught at mid-wicket by Luke Procter off the bowling of Misem Zaidi, which brought Coughlin, who was playing as a batsman only, to the wicket – and they shared a rapid 89 in just 6.2 overs.
Fraine completed his century (54 balls, 12 fours, two sixes) off the third ball of the 17th over before, next ball, he was bowled by Richard Gleeson, making it 188-2.
Jake Libby was also bowled by Gleeson from his first ball while Coughlin, having struck three fours and two sixes, followed soon after as he was castled by Jack White.
Matt Carter was another first delivery victim as he was caught by Andrew Bramley at square leg off White as Notts appeared to be losing momentum.
However, Solomon Budinger (7 not out) and Milnes (13 not out) pushed the hosts up to 210-5 come the close of their innings.
Northamptonshire made a good start in reply, with the opening pair putting on 46 in 4.1 overs until Ben Curran (33) was held at cover by Chris Gibson off Milnes’ bowling.
Milnes then quickly took his wicket tally to three as Luke Procter (2) was caught by Coughlin at mid-on and Charlie Thurston (15) drove to the same fielder.
It was 55-4 when Andrew Bramley failed to score, stumped by Tom Keast off Matt Carter before Saif Zaib (2) was caught at long off by Gibson off Lyndon James’ bowling.
Will Heathfield (22) hit four boundaries before Gibson had him stumped by Keast and Jack Potticary (40) was then bowled by the same player after striking four fours and two sixes in a 26-ball stay.
Milnes claimed his fourth when he bowled Misem Zaidi (9) and, from the final ball of the innings, Gibson (3-29) bowled Richard Gleeson (22) as the visitors closed on 159-9.
In the second match, Notts made one change, with Connor Marshall coming in for Fraine. Northamptonshire again won the toss, but this time chose to bat first.
As in the first match, Matt Milnes struck the first blow, bowling Ben Curran for 14 and number three Jack Potticary (0) soon drove Jack Blatherwick straight to Paul Coughlin at mid-off.
Charlie Thurston (4) was the next to go, taken at cow corner by Lyndon James off Matt Carter’s bowling and it was 31-4 when Saif Zaib (4) holed out at long-off, the catch completed by Joey Evison, to give Chris Gibson a wicket.
Ben Claydon and Luke Procter helped steadied the ship before the former was caught behind by Tom Keast off Carter for 19 and the latter held by Carter off Blatherwick for 33.
Charlie Home (7) fell to Lyndon James, with Solomon Budinger taking the catch, before Blatherwick bowled Andrew Bramley (3).
Misem Zaidi (9 not out) and Will Heathfield (8 not out) saw Northamptonshire through to the close of their innings on 125-8, as Blatherwick finished with 3-16.
In reply, Jake Libby fell for his second duck of the day, caught by Heathfield at mid-on off Zaib’s bowling, and Carter (6) was caught at mid-off by Gareth Wade from a Matthew Claydon delivery, with Notts reduced to 25-2.
Wickets continued to fall as Solomon Budinger (30 from 23 balls, five fours) was bowled round his legs by Zaidi and Tom Keast (1) was caught at backward point by Zaib off Zaidi, making the score 51-4.
Milnes (31 from 30 balls, one four) was held in the deep by Ben Curran off Gareth Wade, while James (8) was caught at backward point by Bramley to give Zaidi (3-35) a third wicket.
But from 95-6, Academy duo Connor Marshall (24 not out) and Joey Evison (20 not out) showed maturity to put on an unbroken 31 for the seventh wicket.
Marshall impressively hit five fours in his 10-ball knock, while Evison scored at just under a run a ball despite not finding the rope as Notts rounded off a four-wicket success.
Notts Outlaws are next in action at Trent Bridge on Tuesday 17 July against Durham Jets. Be part of it - secure your seats now...