Luke Fletcher picked up the first five-wicket haul of his one-day career to help Notts to victory over local rivals Derbyshire on Sunday afternoon.
The big fast bowler, nicknamed ‘The Bulwell Bomber’ took five for 56 as his side fought back to restrict Derbyshire to 297 for eight, a target that Notts chased down with almost five overs to spare.
“I’m delighted to get a five-fer,” he laughed. “Shame it’s taken me nearly 70 matches to do it.
“The most important thing though is the victory. It’s always tough chasing down 300 in any format of the game but we started well with Slater and the last partnership between Mullaney and Moores was terrific.”
Fletcher said that there was a confident mood about his side all day. “It’s all about the momentum we took from Friday’s win at Trent Bridge and we’ve come here and carried on against a good Derbyshire side, so we’re chuffed.”
The 30-year old did agree that it looked, from 153-0, as if the home side would get a huge score at one stage.
“I thought that the pitch was a lot better than it looked,” he remarked. “I thought it was going to spin a bit more than what it did.
“In the last 10 overs Jake Ball bowled brilliantly and he probably deserved the five-fer today. They couldn’t get hold of him and between us we dragged it back well and then left it down to the batsmen to finish off the job.”
Regarded as being one of the finest ‘death bowlers’ in the country, he explained that there are fine margins on some occasions.
“That’s the thing. When you get it right it looks good but when you get it wrong it doesn’t look so good. It’s a thing we work on a lot. Picky (Bowling Coach Andy Pick) is big on it, bowling yorkers and being able to change your pace.
“We’re so confident as a side at the moment, batters are scoring 100s and bowlers are taking five-fers, so long may it continue.”
Fletcher hit the stumps on four occasions during the latter part of the Falcons innings, including three direct hits in the final over.
“It’s standard cricket chat,” he reflected. “They miss - you hit, that sort of thing. The thing with the yorker is that it can be such a scary ball.
“If you miss your length it can go for six, so you need to build your confidence enough to back yourself and get it in the block-hole and aim at the stumps.
“I took a lot from the other day. It seemed all we could do against Lancashire was bowl yorkers because that was the only ball that didn’t go out of the park. I’m pleased with the way I committed to it and today it paid off.”
Notts have had such a good record at qualifying from the white ball groups in recent seasons but occasionally they have had to leave it until the last match in the group. Fletcher hopes four or five early wins will make qualification so much easier this time.
“If you can do that you get yourself a home semi final and avoid the quarters. As with any cricket, momentum is key. That word gets thrown around a lot in sport but we’ve got it at the moment and need to hang on to it.
“In this tournament the games come thick and fast, so we need to recover well and maintain our form, which is going to be the hardest thing.
“But in that changing room there are 11 lads and three or four more who were watching today who can all win matches – and that is key.”
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