Notts Outlaws smashed a club-record T20 score as they kept their quarter-final qualification hopes alive with a dominant display against Derbyshire at Trent Bridge.

The Outlaws amassed 247/6 – comfortably surpassing their previous record total, set against the same opponents in 2017 – with Ben Duckett (63 from 38 deliveries) and Alex Hales (55 from 23) wreaking havoc on the Falcons’ attack.

Derbyshire's chase was doomed from the outset, Zak Chappell and Samit Patel taking three wickets apiece as the hosts triumphed by 94 runs.

The carnage commenced in earnest from the fourth ball of the contest, as Hales whipped Hayden Kerr through midwicket for four. And that set the tone for a punishing powerplay from the long-levered opener.

Well-placed flicks though the leg-side were joined by impeccably-judged slashes towards cover, as Hales raced to 30 from nine deliveries.

But if runs were awarded for artistic impression, Joe Clarke would have quickly been catching his opening partner, a perfectly-timed push to the cover boundary leaving former Notts batter Sam Kelsall purring in the commentary box.

Meanwhile, there was no let-up in the pace from Hales. No bowler was safe as Kerr, Sam Connors, Mark Watt and Mattie McKiernan all found themselves on the receiving end of the right-hander’s brutality.

And no part of the venue was safe either, a straight six from taking a chunk out of the Radcliffe Road sightscreen as Hales reached 50 from 22 deliveries.

McKiernan would have the last laugh with the final ball of the fifth over, Hales holing out to Leus Reece, but the tempo was maintained by Clarke and Duckett.

Eighteen runs were plundered from the sixth over, the Outlaws reaching 86 by the conclusion of the powerplay.

The ton would be brought up in the eighth over, a leg-stump half-volley from Wayne Madsen summarily dispatched into the upper reaches of the Fox Road Stand by Clarke.

Madsen removed Clarke four balls later, but that merely cleared the stage for Duckett to take centre-stage, with his day-glo red boots almost as eye-catching as his shot-making.

A pair of clouts through cow corner, recalling the shot which sealed the 2020 Vitality Blast, were followed by a cut to the backward point boundary, Madsen on the receiving end of a typically 360-degree performance from the southpaw.

Not to be outdone, a pair of stand-and-deliver sixes hoisted Steven Mullaney into the forties in double-quick time, before the club captain aimed one big hit too many at George Scrimshaw.

But the Outlaws continued to eye a monster total, Dan Christian heaving Kerr into the Larwood and Voce Stand – and a hair’s breadth from the venerable public house’s car park.

And after Christian’s departure, Duckett remained merciless – his fifty brought up with a trademark reverse-sweep, before a stomach-high no-ball was smashed into the PKF Smith Cooper Stand.

It was left to new batter Tom Moores to strike the history-making boundary, an expansive cover drive taking the Outlaws past their previous high score of 227.

And with nine deliveries still to come, there was time for Moores to push the new landmark ever-further forward, the left-hander making 20 from eight balls as Notts closed their innings within touching distance of 250.

It left the Falcons with a formidable chase – one which suffered a setback as Reece was well-held by a galloping Joe Clarke at square leg off Matt Carter, before Chappell struck a pivotal blow by rearranging Shan Masood’s stumps.

Chappell’s full-blooded fist-pumping celebrations recalled Freddie Flintoff in his pomp – but they were nothing on the outpouring of emotion as Patel tasted success against Notts’ local rivals once more.

Mattie McKiernan was smartly taken by Steven Mullaney on the circle, triggering a trademark leap for joy from the Outlaws’ left-arm all-rounder as Derbyshire found themselves three down inside four overs.

Kerr and Leus du Plooy would rebuild somewhat as the visitors passed 70 by the end of the Powerplay, but Tom Moores was fleet of foot and of mind in stumping Kerr for 24 off Mullaney.

Mullaney was miserly with the ball as the required run-rate became positively stratospheric, and the all-rounder secured his second wicket as Madsen found himself in an almighty tangle whilst attempting a switch-hit.

Chappell’s return to Outlaws gold continued to prove fruitful, luring a charging du Plooy to miscue a short-pitched delivery into the hands of Hales.

Sixteen balls – and no Derbyshire boundaries – later, Chappell had a third, this time choosing a wider delivery from his box of tricks to which Alex Hughes simply had no answer.

And it was Patel – who else? – who accelerated the Falcons' demise, trapping Watt and Conners with successive deliveries.

Brooke Guest continued to offer stout resistance, but every rendition of Hey Jude and Sweet Caroline singalong sounded ever-sweeter to the Outlaws faithful as victory became a mathematical inevitability.

It was left to Carter, unusually, to close out the encounter, Derbyshire finishing some 94 in arrears.


Be More Outlaw: The 2022 Vitality Blast at Trent Bridge

Pin your green and gold colours to the mast by securing your seats for Notts Outlaws' final home game in the Vitality Blast group stage.

Friday 1 July, Notts Outlaws vs Durham: Secure your seats…