6/4/2016 0 Comments
It was a good day to be a ‘Shire man as both Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire triumphed during Saturday’s fixtures in the Natwest T20 Blast.
At Trent Bridge, Lancashire were left to rue a slow over-rate after the Red Rose were edged out during the final over of the match. With it looking likely that the hosts would require an unlikely 15 off the final over the umpires added six penalty runs to the total to make the Outlaws task far more managed for Sam Wood and Luke Fletcher. Earlier in the day, Jos Buttler and Karl Brown combined to boost the visitors up to a competitive total with the England one-day wicketkeeper striking a half-century. Martin Guptill looked in fine form striking four 4’s and a six on his way to a quick-fire 28 to propel the visitors to 40/0 after four overs. But he fell when he mistimed a slower ball from Harry Gurney to Greg Smith in the deep to bring an end to a promising partnership between the Kiwi and Alviro Petersen. After adding 23 for the second wicket with the aforementioned Brown, Petersen became the next man to fall trapped leg before by Samit Patel (2-31) and the former England spinner had dragged the Outlaws firmly back into the encounter when he had youngster Liam Livingstone (9) caught behind by Riki Wessels. Livingstone’s departure brought Buttler to the middle and the former Somerset man was at his aggressive best to help lead the recovery alongside Brown. The duo added 44 in six overs to lead the visitors back to respectability, Brown the chief scorer in the partnership as the England man played himself in before his later onslaught. Brown made 47 including six fours and a six before becoming the last man to fall edging Gurney (2-37) behind to Wessels. The England star then took it upon himself to propel the Red Rose up to a decent total, he played a mixture of inventive shots and sheer force to reach a first half-century of his Blast campaign. He struck five fours and three sixes in his 29-ball stay to help the visitors to 184/4 from their 20 overs.
In reply, Nottinghamshire were off to a dream start as both Michael Lumb and Wessels took a fancy to the pace on the ball offered by Neil Wagner and George Edwards. The pair led the hosts to the 100 mark after just eight-and-a-half overs. The pair both hit half-centuries with Lumb hitting five fours and four sixes in an aggressive knock which had the crowd ducking for cover, the former England man was the first to fall though for 53 with the total bang on 100. He swung spinner Steven Parry to Alviro Petersen in the deep to depart for a crucial half-century. Anyone who thought the damage had been done by the duo had second thoughts as the Lanky’s raced through the lower middle order to set up a grandstand finish. Wessels was the second to fall in the twelfth over bowled by Jordan Clark for a well-made 57 which included seven fours and three sixes. His departure started a wobble as the hosts lost six wickets for 38 runs to drag the Outlaws back into contention. Wagner accounted for the Notts skipper Dan Christian to bag the third wicket of the host’s innings. Samit Patel fell for a first ball duck in the next over offering a catch to Livingstone off the bowling of the impressive Clark (2-28). But at the other end, Greg Smith was steadily winning the game for the hosts with a tick over a run-a-ball 24. He fell though to swing the tie back into the visitors favour as Edwards returned to disturbed his stumps; the visitors were at this point beginning to speed up in the field as time was ticking away. They had time though with Arron Lilley struck to remove Brendan Taylor for five caught by skipper Steven Croft. In the eighteenth over Edwards was running back to his mark knowing the clock was against the visitors. Rushing through his over didn’t seem to faze him though as the young Englishman struck twice in the over to remove Steven Mullaney (9) and Jake Ball (1) to leave the hosts requiring 15 to win off the final over. Lancashire would have fancied their chances with tail-enders Sam Wood and Luke Fletcher at the crease. But nightmare struck when they looked up to see the umpires signalling to the scorers to added six penalty runs to the score to leave the hosts with just nine to win. Fletcher stole a single off the first ball before Wood hoisted Lilley into the Family Stand to leave just two to win off of four balls suddenly the hosts were favourites and it was left to big Lukey Fletcher to inside edge the winning runs through square leg to seal the Outlaws first victory of the campaign and spark wild celebrations.
It was far simpler for Leicestershire at Grace Road as the Foxes produced the perfect performance to ease past Durham. After winning the toss and electing to field first the hosts enjoyed a dream start reducing the visitors to 26/5 after the Jets powerplay. Ben Raine (3-24) continued his fine recent form to cause the bulk of the damage. He removed Mark Stoneman and Ryan Pringle (both bowled) whilst also being involved directly in dismissing Graham Clark (8) by producing a dart of a throw to remove the Durham number three. Ben Raine was certainly on fire and the Durham batsmen were terrified of the red head. Australian Clint McKay also rolled back the years to remove danger man Phil Mustard bowling the wicketkeeper for a golden duck. It was all going very wrong for the Jets who were in disarray by this point. On a slow tricky pitch that offered some sideways movement the visitors struggled to gain any momentum. It allowed both McKay and Kevin O’Brien to sneak in eight overs for a combined 38 runs for the loss of three wickets. Indeed, only three batsmen reached double figures with View From The Outfield’s future star Keaton Jennings top scoring with an impressive 42 before the youngster was run out. He produced a gritty innings scoring at just over a run-a-ball but with his side in a hole, it was a crucial one to help guide his team to a semi-respectable total. But in the end, 120 was never going to prove enough as the hosts produced a confident batting display despite some early heroics from Chris Rushworth. The Durham opener produced a beauty of a spell which left the hosts in early trouble, he first removed the dangerous Mark Cosgrove with a ball that swung in viciously to knock back the Australians off-stump before producing a ball that foxed the host skipper Mark Pettini who could only lob back a catch to the impressive Rushworth (2-13) Kevin O’Brien and Ben Raine steadied the ship though to get the Foxes back on track. The pair added 43 for the third wicket. The pair manoeuvred the ball around the outfield nicely and hit the bad ball to the rope to guide the hosts through the tricky new ball stage. O’Brien fell though when he smashed a rank long hop from Scott Borthwick down the throat of Michael Richardson in the deep. Seventeen runs later Raine fell to bring an end to his fine all-round display, he, like O’Brien could only hit Borthwick to a fielder in the deep to fall for a well-made 21. The experienced duo of Umar Akmal and Niall O’Brien ensured that there would be no more scares in pursuit of their lowly target. O’Brien looked like a man on a mission as he flayed the bad balls to the boundary and flicked the ones and twos around when required. Meanwhile, Akmal used his wrists and delightful drives to chip away at the target. It was left for the Irishman to finish as the wicketkeeper gave himself room and carved fellow Irishman Barry McCarthy over the covers for four to finish on 33 not out and guide his side to a second win of the campaign.
Reports by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
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