Samit Patel lauded the impact of the Trent Bridge crowd after Trent Rockets secured a place in the Men’s Hundred Eliminator with a seven-wicket defeat of Manchester Originals.
“The crowd are like a 12th man,” said Patel, who hit 35 off 23 and took the wicket of his Notts teammate Joe Clarke.
“We can all play off that. You feel that atmosphere and ride it with the fans.”
The Originals got off to a fast start before suffering a collapse instigated by Rashid Khan, who took three for 16, to subside to a below-par 135 for eight, with Colin Munro’s 22-ball 45 the top score.
In response, Dawid Malan hit an unhurried fifty as he and Patel ensured the Rockets remained in touch throughout the entirety of the chase, before cruising home with five balls to spare.
“The new format is unbelievable,” said Patel. “It’s really good that people are talking about it a lot. There are sell-out crowds, so the hunger for it is great.”
Just as his counterpart Kate Cross had earlier, Originals captain Carlos Brathwaite won the toss. Following a brief rain delay, openers Clarke and Phil Salt started well, before the former was bowled by Patel for 27 off 17.
His replacement Colin Munro began a one-man assault on the Rockets’ bowling as the Originals reached 70 for one after 40, before three balls from Khan triggered a disintegration and spun the innings on its head.
The leg-spinner had Salt held by Patel for 15, before following it up with the lbw dismissal of Colin Ackermann, with the on-field decision upheld after a lengthy review.
Khan then pouched youngster Tom Lammonby running in from the long-on boundary off the bowling of Steven Mullaney, and two balls later took a third wicket of his own when he bowled Brathwaite.
“The way Rashid plays his cricket is full on, and that’s credit to him. He is a world class performer, and does it day-in day-out.
“It is always big to pick up wickets at those times. Salt is a big one, and Brathwaite too, who he did for pace with that quick yorker.”
From 70 for one, the Originals had collapsed to 75 for five, and they were only able to add 17 more before Dan Douthwaite also fell, run out at the bowler’s end by a direct hit from Rockets captain Lewis Gregory.
Through the chaos, however, Munro remained unbeaten, and he hit Marchant de Lange’s very next ball over long-on for six, but the Rockets quick had the last laugh, finally removing the New Zealander by bowling him.
With that, the Originals had lost their last recognised batter, and they limped through the remainder of their innings to finish on 135 for eight, having added just 65 from the 59 balls since Khan’s first wicket.
“We set the tone well with the ball and restricted them to a decent total,” smiled Patel. “Effectively, it was a quarter final for us, but Rashid, one of the world’s best who is a game changer, took wickets at crucial stages.
“We knew the chase would be tough because they are a good side with a good bowling attack.”
Rockets openers Malan and Alex Hales made a confident start, going unbeaten throughout the powerplay to reach 33 without loss before advancing to 50 in the ensuing 12 balls.
Matt Parkinson saw Hales caught behind by Salt for 19 immediately after the fifty had been posted, and he then brought Steven Mullaney’s valuable innings to an end for 17, caught by Clarke, to leave the Rockets 74 for two.
Malan was fast turning out to be the cornerstone of the Rockets’ innings, and he reached fifty as, alongside Samit Patel, he kept the required rate within the realm of comfortable, needing 24 off the final 20 balls.
“We all get a bit twitchy in a chase like that with a lot on it, and it is great for Dawid to contribute to a winning team. He times the ball exceptionally," said Patel.
“D’Arcy Short could have gone in and done the same job,” reflected Patel, “but we went with something different to promote Dawid to opener.
“We then went with a right-hand left-hand combination, which ended up leaving D’Arcy down the order a bit, but the next game will be different.”
Having made 52, Malan then skied Fred Klaassen to Carlos Brathwaite with 12 required, leaving it up to Patel’s unbeaten 35 from 23 to finish the job.
With a spot in the Eliminator at the Kia Oval on Friday now beckoning, Patel has a steely determination to remove any distractions.
“I pride my game on winning games of cricket,” said Patel. “We have got to take our momentum and people who are in form have to stay in form.
“There is lots of improvement still to be done and you need a bit of luck, but it’s a big game we’re looking forward to on Friday.”
The high octane white ball action at Trent Bridge will continue on Wednesday 25 August as Notts Outlaws face Hampshire Hawks in the quarter final of the Vitality Blast at Trent Bridge.