Three wickets apiece for Jake Ball and Steven Mullaney, allied with fifties for Joe Clarke and Ben Duckett, saw Notts Outlaws complete a four-wicket win over Durham in captain Dan Christian’s final Trent Bridge outing.

Duckett made an unbeaten 53* from 34 balls and Clarke hit 51 off 30 as the Outlaws chased down the visitors’ 183/8, restricted by Ball’s 3-39 and Mullaney’s 3-25, to emerge victorious with three full overs to spare.

Christian, applauded onto the field by a Trent Bridge crowd which numbered in excess of 11,000, bowled four overs and claimed a run-out to bring down the curtain on an illustrious Outlaws career in West Bridgford. 

Earlier, a brief threat of rain receded rapidly as the returning Ball opened the bowling for the hosts alongside Steven Mullaney, and in his 100th career T20 match, he wasted little time in getting on the board.

Graham Clark was caught for 14 by Joe Clarke from the first delivery of Ball’s second over, before Ollie Robinson skied one to Tom Moores behind the stumps for four, leaving the visitors 41/2 after six.

A partnership of 54 up to the halfway point of Durham’s innings between Michael Jones and captain Ashton Turner lifted them a little, but that was broken when Christian caught the latter at cover off Mullaney for 33.

Last season’s skipper then teamed up with this season’s once more when Liam Trevaskis fell in identical fashion to Turner, before Paul Coughlin skied Mullaney to Samit Patel at backward square leg two balls later.

That left Durham 98/5 in the 11th, and were it not for a cameo from Brydon Carse, who hit a 17-ball 25, their innings could have nosedived even faster as top-scorer Jones was well held by Mullaney off Ball for 41.

Lyndon James took his maiden T20 wicket to end Carse’s innings as Ben Duckett took a catch at long-off, before Christian threw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end to catch Ben Raine short.

It fell to a late display from Ned Eckersley, who made an unbeaten 23*, alongside 13 from Australian import Andrew Tye, to eventually set the Outlaws their target of 184.

Clarke and Alex Hales got the chase off to a flier as they posted a partnership of 53 in 26 deliveries, a stand which included both striking back-to-back sixes and at one point saw Clarke fully clear the Larwood and Voce Stand.

The mantle was taken up by Duckett following Hales’ dismissal for 26, and there was no let-up in the Outlaws’ onslaught as another half-century partnership was posted, this time from 30 balls, to take the hosts past 100.

It was brought up by Clarke smashing Raine over long-off for his fifth maximum of the night, before he then took a single off the very next ball to bring up his individual half-century from 28 balls.

He was removed by Nathan Sowter just after the halfway point of the innings, but Duckett remained imperious, striking two consecutive fours off Trevaskis in the 12th to continue the march towards the target.

James, in after the wicket of Mullaney, then hit Carse for two sixes in three deliveries as the 13th went for 16 to leave the Outlaws requiring just 46 from the final seven overs.

Though James departed for an 11-ball 20, the required rate continued to diminish sharply as Tom Moores hit all of his first four deliveries, three from Sowter and one from Tye, for four, in a supremely entertaining 16 off six.

Duckett swept a Sowter full toss for four after Moores fell to Tye to bring up a 32-ball fifty, before Sol Budinger chipped in with a valuable 10 off four to take the required runs down into single figures.

Victory was then confirmed as, with three required, Duckett took a single off a Carse no-ball to see the Outlaws home and ensure a double over Durham and a third consecutive shortest-format win.