T20 Blast 2024, NOTTS vs DERBS North Group Match Report, June 21, 2024

Nottinghamshire 173 for 5 (Clarke 47) beat Derbyshire 165 for 8 (Donald 52) by eight runs

Notts Outlaws avenged a heavy defeat at Derby with a eight-run victory at Trent Bridge to keep their Vitality Blast season just about alive.

Joe Clarke’s side climb off the bottom of the North Group table for the first time with their second win. After losing their first five matches, qualification for the quarter-finals will be a tall order but it remains mathematically possible.

Clarke, still searching for his first half-century of the season, hit 47 from 28 balls with Tom Moores (31 from 27) and Matt Montgomery (28 not out from 31) adding useful late runs to give Falcons a target of 174, skipper Samit Patel taking 2 for 24 on his first visit to Trent Bridge as a Derbyshire player, supported by Pat Brown’s 2 for 39.

Aneurin Donald hit a 26-ball 52 and veteran Wayne Madsen 40 from 35 in Falcons’ response but a solid performance with the ball by the home side, led by New Zealand left-arm quick Ben Lister taking 2 for 24 in his final appearance, ensured there would be no fairytale return for Patel.

After opting to bat first, Clarke hit 36 out of 59 for 1 in the powerplay. He was dropped just behind square off Patel on 24, but responded with three fours in an over off South African quick Daryn Dupavillon before slog-sweeping Ross Whiteley for his second six. Ben Martindale, in his maiden Blast innings, fell to a well-judged catch at long-off for 16.

Controversy followed before Outlaws reached half-way on 89 for 2, Clarke putting himself at serious risk of sanction after being given out caught at short third man.

As Dupavillon insisted he had his fingers fully under the ball to take Clarke’s reverse-scoop just above the ground, the Notts skipper stood his ground, shooting alternate glares at standing umpire Graham Lloyd and the fielders, before ex-colleague Patel persuaded him he should leave the field.

Alex Hales (26 off 23) and Jack Haynes (18 off 13) both made starts before being caught off Patel in the deep and it took some enterprising batting from Moores and Montgomery to give the Outlaws bowlers something to defend, Moores hammering Patel for six over long-on before being athletically caught at short fine leg by 40-year-old Madsen.

Giving early impetus to the chase, Donald’s extraordinary hitting power lifted the Falcons to 70 for 1 in their batting powerplay after David Lloyd had hoicked Olly Stone to midwicket for 7, the former Glamorgan batter completing a 21-ball half-century with his fifth six as Liam Patterson-White’s first over went for 27 runs.

But the Outlaws left-arm spinner responded superbly, having Donald caught on the slog-sweep before bowling Zak Chappell in a second over that conceded only two runs. With legspinner Calvin Harrison miserly at the other end, Falcons were 87 for 3 from 10, the outcome squarely in the balance.

Cam Fletcher was well caught at long-off but Madsen stepped up to damage Harrison’s figures with a four drilled through the on side and a six over long-off to bring the requirement down to 46 from five overs before Ross Whitely cleared the rope off Stone but holed out off Lister.

Patel’s visions of being the match-winner vanished when he bottom-edged Stone into his stumps and when Madsen slashed Lister to be caught on the point boundary – a second wicket in two superb death overs – Outlaws were favourites, Falcons needing 19 from six balls, which proved too much.

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