Few question marks remain around a Notts Outlaws side that has swept all before it in the Blast campaign to date to remain the only unbeaten force in the competition. A re-balanced team selection and re-tuned batting order returned a familiar result, despite Wayne Madsen’s best efforts with the bat.
Notts secured victory by 13-runs in a performance that, whilst perhaps less clinical than in recent matches, was demonstrative of the depth and quality of batting at Dan Christian’s disposal.
Christian opted to set a target for Derbyshire, having cantered to victory chasing in two previous Blast matches at Trent Bridge, and called on Matt Carter in place of injured seamer Luke Fletcher.
Defending 198, Imad Wasim struck first ball to clean bowl Luis Reece, before Carter compounded the inroads when he pinned the pads of Billy Godleman.
Madsen gave Derbyshire’s run chase impetus, but after the visiting top order fell away around him, Jake Ball struck twice to limit the damage of his 68-run knock and account for the secondary pillar of Derbyshire’s innings, Matt Critchley. The visitors’ spirit slowly wilted as they succumbed to scoreboard pressure needing to maintain a two-a-ball strike rate.
Batting first on a good pitch, Chis Nash fell early, finding former Notts fielding supremo Anuj Dal in his familiar role patrolling the square leg boundary. Alex Hales dominated a fifty-partnership with Joe Clarke to establish firm foundations in the Outlaws’ innings, guiding his side to 65 for 1 as the powerplay concluded.
Hales was given an extra life when Dal spilled a half chance diving forwards, but he couldn’t grasp the reprieve. Dustin Melton held on to a mistimed stroke at mid-on off Alex Hughes to bring an end to Hales’ afternoon with the bat. The opener’s 49 was, however, more than useful and four consecutive fours in a Michael Cohen over demonstrated his relentless attacking intent.
Joe Clarke made another half century to continue his run of imperious form with the bat, before he was caught at long-on trying to accelerate the rate as the Outlaws set their sights on 200. A shuffled order saw Ben Duckett remain in the Pavilion until the eighteenth over with Tom Moores, Dan Christian and Steven Mullaney promoted.
Moores and Christian scored quickly and combined in an eventful Wayne Madsen over to produce a sequence of six, six, wicket six as the Outlaws’ captain holed out to Luis Reece.
Mullaney and Samit Patel saw Notts to their match-winning total of 198 for 6.
With this game designated as a Derbyshire home fixture, Trent Bridge will host a re-match between the two teams on Thursday as Notts aim to cement their position at the top of the group.
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