Jake Libby heralded an all-round team performance as Notts Outlaws secured their place in the Vitality T20 Blast quarter-finals with a last gasp victory over Yorkshire Vikings.
The Cornish batsman steadied the ship for Notts with a partnership of 66 with Joe Clarke in the middle of their innings after the loss of early wickets.
Libby was keen to praise Clarke after his half century put the Outlaws on course for victory and a place in the next stage of the competiton.
“We’re obviously delighted to get through to the quarter-final, but the next stage now is securing a home quarter-final which would be nice,” he said.
“Joe’s innings was key; it was a match winning innings in the end and on that wicket to score at that rate was a really good effort.
“We kept saying that we thought 140 or 150 would be a par score and we really did think the wicket was a tough one.
“At the time we would have liked to get a few more away but it turned out to be a par score that was just good enough to win the game.”
Scoring was at a premium throughout the course of the game with both sides only reaching double figures at the halfway stage of their respective innings on a challenging Trent Bridge wicket.
However, Dan Christian’s unbeaten cameo of 31* from just 16 deliveries gave a timely boost to the Outlaws total.
“He’s just different class – there are not many people that can do that on that type of wicket, and we saw a few scoop shots from him today which was nice.
“He’s a brute force player but he’s got these little touches as well so that was great to see.
“It was a bit of a scrappy affair, but I think it was one of the most enjoyable games of the season actually.
“With a packed house on a bank holiday Sunday and just sneaking over the line it was a great feeling.”
A solid batting display was followed up by a miserly performance with the ball from the Outlaws attack.
Matt Carter received the man of the match award for conceding just 12 runs from his four over spell and Samit Patel also picked up the wicket of Johnathan Tattersall and a run out.
Libby himself also chipped in with a wicket in his very first over in T20 cricket however, it was the death bowling duo of Luke Fletcher and Harry Gurney who held their nerve and took Notts over the line with aplomb.
“Luke Fletcher at the end closing it out and Harry for the last over were brilliant, but everyone played their part.
“We knew we had to bowl well which always puts a bit of pressure on the attack, but I think Fletch will take the plaudits for getting the wickets in the second to last over and giving Harry a great chance and he finished it off lovely.
“It was a real unit effort.”
There is just one further opportunity to catch the Outlaws in T20 group stage action at Trent Bridge this summer, with Durham the visitors under the Friday night lights on 30 August.