Notts Outlaws began the defence of the Royal London One-Day Cup with a thrilling 9-run victory over Lancashire at Old Trafford.
The outcome was particularly satisfying for captain Steven Mullaney, a former Lancashire player.
Mullaney claimed the man-of-the match award for an impressive innings of 70, through the middle overs, and backed it up with an excellent performance in the field.
The 31-year old took catches to dismiss Alex Davies and Arron Lilley, as well as sending down nine testing overs, which yielded a return of one for 56.
“Obviously I’m feeling over the moon for us to pull off a win like that,” he said.
“There’s still a lot for us to improve upon but we’re delighted to get the two points.”
Notts made 319 all out, after choosing to bat first and were 164-4 when their skipper walked to the crease.
He reached his 50 from 45 deliveries, hitting five fours and a powerful straight six off Stephen Parry.
Even so, Lancashire looked on course for the win, until Keaton Jennings was dismissed with only 30 required.
“We stuck at it,” said Mullaney. “We tried to get their over rate up above eight an over towards the end and when we can do that we back our bowlers, especially on a wicket that had started to deteriorate.
“We have a lot of bowlers now with experience, Jake (Ball), Harry (Gurney) and Fletch (Luke Fletcher) have all been in those situations many times before – and myself and Samit (Patel) have also played a lot of cricket.
“We’re so pleased with this and it was nice to see Tom Moores play such a lovely innings, and it’s good to see Chris Nash getting some runs after a lean run in the championship.
“At half time we were pleased to have put 318 on the board. We were looking for anything above 300 really, and it’s a good job that we got those extra 18."
Lancashire captain Liam Livingstone was understandably full of praise for Keaton Jennings after his knock of 136.
"I'm delighted for Keaton and the way he played, but that's the way one-day cricket goes. We'd have backed ourselves with 10 overs left, but it's disappointing."
Livingstone was also keen to applaud the performance of the Outlaws bowling attack.
"The Notts bowlers bowled really well, and we knew the pitch was going to get tougher and tougher."
"The way we stacked our side with spinners, you could tell we thought the pitch was going to slow up."
"Fair play to Notts, they bowled well. The way Harry (Gurney) bowled his change-ups, his cutters into the pitch worked really well."
"We could have done that better in the first innings, but it's the first game of the tournament and we have a lot of positives to take forward."
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