Notts Outlaws failed to recover from a top-order collapse against Lancashire at Trent Bridge, falling 87 runs short to lose for the first time in the Vitality Blast this season. 

The hosts lost four wickets in eight balls to set their pursuit of 178 off to a difficult start, despite having rallied with the ball after Lancashire scored 56 in the powerplay.

Notts’ efforts to get their innings back on track failed to materialise, as Lancashire punctuated the hosts' innings with wickets to leapfrog their opponents in the North Group Table. 

In the end, only Alex Hales, Dan Christian and Luke Fletcher - who hit three sixes in an innings worth 22 - mustered double figures, while himself, Dane Paterson and Jake Ball offered glimmers of positivity with two wickets apiece. 

Lancashire’s Phil Salt signalled his, and Lancashire’s, intent from the outset, sweeping the first four deliveries of Matt Carter’s first over.

But, after Keaton Jennings had picked three fours off Luke Fletcher, Salt faltered against the pace of Ball, pushing at a back of a length delivery only to edge through to Tom Moores, cueing the arrival of Liam Livingstone.

And the England international made his mark immediately, pumping Ball straight for a four before slapping Paterson for four and six in the fifth over. 

But a tight Notts spell shifted the momentum.

Lightning found the boundary just twice between the sixth and tenth overs before Livingstone skied Paterson to Christian at cover for 30, and Tim David sliced Samit Patel to Joe Clarke at deep point for 15. 

They lost their fourth wicket two overs later when Jennings failed to find the ropes, caught instead by Fletcher, but Steven Croft and Dane Vilas rotated intelligently to set up the visitors’ push.

Seventeen runs off Ball’s 17th over left Lancashire 156/4, but preceded the loss of Vilas for 24 - top edging to Clarke off Fletcher - and Lamb, caught by Hales at long-on for 3. 

The Red Rose managed two boundaries off the last twenty balls, but finished with a competitive 178, Croft falling for 14-ball 22 in Fletcher’s last over. 

Matters got better for the away side when they dismissed the dangerous Clarke for four in the first over, the right-hander chipping to Croft who took the catch stretching over his head running back at mid-on. 

Duckett fell four balls later, the left-hander edging to Phil Salt, and, after a wide delivery, Patel and Mullaney fell in consecutive balls, the former clipping off his pads to short fine-leg, and Mullaney run out by a David direct hit from mid off after being sent back by Hales. 

The subsequent 18 balls garnered 18 runs as Lancashire continued to apply pressure, before Tom Moores was caught by Salt, adjudged to glove a Luke Wood short ball through to the ‘keeper.

Hales then departed for 15 with five more runs on the board - top edging a pull off Livingstone’s drag down to Croft at mid-wicket. 

Carter and Christian together began to add a semblance of respectability to the Notts total, sharing the hosts' biggest partnership of 22 before Hartley accounted for the former, trapped lbw, with Notts reduced to 57/7. 

Luke Fletcher offered some resistance, slog-sweeping leg-spinners Matt Parkinson and Livingstone (twice) for comprehensive sixes over midwicket, before Christian, Ball and the Bulwell-born all-rounder were caught to tie up Notts’ innings.


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