Samit Patel took two wickets before Alex Hales put on another lightning-quick show of hitting, but Notts Outlaws fell agonisingly short in a dramatic rain-reduced clash with Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston.

Chasing the hosts’ 98/5, the Outlaws had reached 92/4 with one ball remaining when Craig Miles’ final delivery to Patel was called a no ball on height.

Patel then retired out in an identical action to Bears skipper Carlos Brathwaite in the hosts’ innings, but Tom Moores and new man Calvin Harrison fell just short of being able to run the three that would have sealed victory.

Persistent downpours at Edgbaston had delayed the planned start time twice, with an eight-over match finally getting underway at 5:05pm, prior to which Dan Christian had won the toss and opted to insert the hosts.

There was immediate joy for Matt Carter as he saw Paul Stirling caught by Joe Clarke at deep square leg for a golden duck off the very first ball of the match, but aggressive hitting from Chris Benjamin carried the hosts to 57/2.

It was Patel who took the second of those wickets, seeing Jacob Bethell slice to James Pattinson from his fifth ball, and he further dented the hosts’ charge when he had Adam Hose held by Ben Duckett at long off.

However, Benjamin found support from captain Brathwaite, who hit 17 off 11 before retiring out at the end of the penultimate over, at which point the hosts were 80/5.

Calvin Harrison took care of Benjamin, bowling him for 36, before Alex Davies faced the final four deliveries to haul the Bears to their eventual total.

In reply, Joe Clarke fell early to the returning Olly Stone, but Hales and Ben Duckett took up the mantle to shift through the gears rapidly, combining to strike 27 off Danny Briggs’ first over for a total of 55/1 after three.

Jake Lintott took the wickets of both, though not before Hales had flown to 30 off nine balls and Duckett had hit 22 from 13, but the visitors were ahead of the rate at halfway, requiring another 42 to win.

A combined 19 more came off Stone and Lintott’s respective second overs, before Brathwaite claimed the wicket of Christian via a Miles catch to leave the Outlaws requiring 15 off the last.

Tom Moores eased some of that pressure with a giant straight six, but as the end approached, those scenes of high drama unfolded as Harrison emerged.

Moores dug out Miles’ final yorker with Harrison already scampering to the other end, but the ball was sharply returned as the visitors ended up finding themselves short by the very tightest of margins.


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