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Left Duck: Nottinghamshire Cricket News & Updates

1 September 17 words: Gav Squires

August was another good month for the leather and willow brigade, we take a look back

Tom Moores goes on the attack against Somerset

Leicestershire at Grace Road - T20 Blast - Wednesday 2 August

Alex Hales (51) and Riki Wessles (63) continued their impressive opening form putting on 104 for the first wicket against Leicestershire inside nine overs. From there, it looked like Notts were going to put on 230+ but the hosts managed to slow them down taking four wickets for just 12 runs at one point including Brendon Taylor and Samit Patel for ducks. Dan Christian's quick-fire 33 helped Notts to 210-8 though, a daunting total for Leicestershire to chase. Then the rain came. At one point, it looked like there might be a five-over chase with a score decided by Duckworth and Lewis but the rain came back just as the players were re-entering the field of play and Notts had to settle for a draw.

Derbyshire at The County Ground - T20 Blast - Friday 4 August

After being put into bat, Notts scored an impressive 189-4. Tom Moores top scored with 57 but there were contributions from Riki Wessels (37), Brendon Taylor (23), Dan Christian (30*) and Samit Patel (29*). In reply, Derbyshire lost a wicket on their second ball of the innings and despite 53 from Luis Reece, Derbyshire fell short, losing by 8 runs. Jake Ball was the pick of the Notts bowlers taking three wickets and while Dan Christian may have been expensive, he did take the key wicket of Reece.

Durham at Trent Bridge - T20 Blast - Saturday 5 August

Batting first, Durham continued the run of good scores at Trent Bridge by racking up 183-7, anchored by 53 from Michael Richardson and 42 not out from skipper Paul Coughlin. Samit Patel was the pick of the bowlers with 2-24 although Steven Mulllaney and Ish Sodhi also both took two wickets. Notts then proceeded to score the highest ever powerplay score in T20 history as they racked up 106 for no loss in the first six overs. Alex Hales went on to hit 95 in 30 balls including 9 fours and 9 sixes - in fact if he'd hit his final ball for a six, he would have equalled Chris Gayle's fastest ever century. With Hales out, a mini collapse followed as Notts slipped from 126-0 to 138-4 but Steven Mullaney was still there at the end, unbeaten on 41, getting them over the line for a five wicket victory with more than six overs remaining.

Derbyshire at The County Ground - County Championship - Sunday 6 - Wednesday 9 August

A strange sorbet of a single County Championship game during twenty:20 season saw Nottinghamshire head down the A52. Electing to field first, Mark Footit took his first wickets for the club against one of his former teams while Jake Ball finished with 3-63. Brett Hutton was the pick of the Nottinghamshire bowlers though taking 5-52 as Derbyshire ended their innings on 220 with Alex Hughes top scoring with 55 not out. In reply Steven Mullaney hit 50 and then it was the Alex Hales show - he hit 218 runs from 218 balls including 38 fours and a six in a timely nudge to the England selectors that sadly wasn't enough for a test recall. With support from Chris Read (75) and Jake Ball (43) Notts declared on 508-9 and it looked like the only thing that could prevent victory would be the weather, with the third day of play completely washed out. Following some top work from the ground staff, play was able to continue on the Wednesday and Hutton followed up his five-fer in the first innings with a second (5-74) as he took 10 wickets in a match for just the second time in his career. Chris Read also set a new dismissals record for a Nottinghamshire wicketkeeper, moving onto 969 as Derbyshire were all out for 227, Notts winning by an innings and 61 runs to cement their place at the top of the table.

Warwickshire at Trent Bridge - T20 Blast - Friday 11 August

Notts celebrate a wicket against Warwickshire

Nottinghamshire invited the visitors to bat and soon reduced them to 38-4 as Jake Ball took three early wickets. Sam Hain counter-attacked hitting 82 not out and Aaron Thomason scored 42 as Warwickshire finished on 180-7 from their 20 overs. Where Notts looked half a bowler short, without Chris Woakes and Boyd Rankin, Warwickshire looked like they were a full bowler missing. Even then, man of the moment Alex Hales went for a golden duck and the Outlaws were 43-3 at one point. Brendan Taylor (36) and Samit Patel (77 not out) put on 96 for the fourth wicket and from there, Notts cruised home, winning by five wickets with 11 balls to spare.

Worcestershire at New Road - T20 Blast - Sunday 13 August

Notts knew that a win against the Rapids of Worcestershire would see them qualify for the quarter-finals but it didn't start well as they were asked to bat by the hosts. While Riki Wessels posted 32, the team collapsed to 80-6 in the tenth over and only a quickfire 37 from Billy Root took them to 145 all out. Alex Hepburn was the pick of the Worcestershire bowlers, taking 5-24. As Geoffrey Boycott is fond of saying, don't judge a pitch until both sides have had a bat and it turned out that 145 wasn't as bad a score as it looked. Figures of 2-18 from Harry Gurney and 2-22 from Jake Ball as well as 3-18 from Dan Christian's three overs meant that the home side could only score 134 despite 32 from Daryl Mitchell and 28 from Ross Whiteley. So, an 11 run victory that saw Notts qualify into the knock out stages.

Leicestershire at Trent Bridge - T20 Blast - Friday 18 August

Samit Patel bowls against Leicestershire

Having already topped the table and guaranteed a home tie in the quarter-finals, Notts could relax a little as they welcomed Leicestershire to Trent Bridge. The visitors knew that they needed a win to progress though and it was obvious that they were going to have a good go at it as, yet again, a team came to Nottinghamshire and posted more than 200. Opener Cameron Delport was the mainstay of the innings, carrying his bat for 109 runs from 59 balls, including nine 4s and six 6s. 37 from Mark Cosgrove and 30 from Ned Eckersley helped the Foxes post 203. We've seen Notts chase down bigger totals this season but they lost wickets too frequently and it required a captain's knock from Dan Christian (73 from 32 balls) to drag them back into the game. He was out from the penultimate ball in the penultimate over, a juggling catch on the boundary, but his efforts had meant that Notts required 8 runs from the final over to win the game. The bowler, Matt Pillans, held his nerve and with 4 needed from the last ball, Billy Root could only hit it for a single. Leicestershire had won by two runs and had secured their place in the next round.

Somerset at Trent Bridge - T20 Blast - Thursday 24 August

Somerset came to town for the crucial quarter-final clash and were put into bat by the Outlaws. After taking 17 from Samit Patel's opening over, Jake Ball delivered a two-wicket maiden. Peter Trego (40) and Steve Davies (59) then put on a stand of 85 for the visitors and looked to have set them up for a big total. Dan Christian removed both players and Somerset were restricted to 151-6 from their 20 overs, a score that didn't look big enough when compared to a lot of over T20 totals at Trent Bridge this summer. The reply didn't start well, losing Riki Wessels in the first over and Notts found themselves 34-3 in the fifth over. Brendon Taylor (20) and Samit Patel (45) stopped the rot and when Patel was unluckily ran-out when Lewis Gregory displayed his football skills, Dan Christian (36 not out) and Steven Mullaney (20 not out) saw Notts home.

Northamptonshire at Trent Bridge - County Championship - Monday 28 - Thursday 31 August

But before the fun of finals day there was the serious matter a game against Northants. It didn't start well for the home side as a batting performance that was reminiscent of last season as they struggled to just 213. Steven Mullaney hit 58 and Rikki Wessels scored 69 as Richard Gleeson (4-38) and Azharullah (5-63) were the chief tormentors. However, that wasn't the end of the wickets tumbling on the first day as a fine performance in the field saw Northants 72 runs in arrears. The Notts bowlers shared the wickets around with 2 for Jake Ball, 3 for Luke Wood, 3 for Brett Hutton and 2 for Mullaney in a real team effort. It had never really looked that bad a wicket and Notts applied themselves much better in their second innings. Samit Patel hit 64 but Riki Wessels timed his innings to perfection, hitting 116 and putting on 117 runs with Jake Ball for the 9th wicket. When Wessels was out Notts declared, leaving Northants needing 417 to win, an almost impossible ask. While there was some stubborn resistance from some of the visiting batters, notably Robert Newton hitting 53 from 113 balls, Nottinghamshire were able to wrap up victory by 163 runs early on day four.

August Round-up

Another great month for Notts as they cruised into T20 finals day and comfortably won both of their four-day games, cementing their place at the top of the table. The team is looking so well balanced at the moment with someone always ready to step-up and put in a good performance. After losing their first two T20 games this season, it's been a tremendous effort to qualify for the finals and T20 skipper, Dan Christian, is coming into some good form at just the right time. In previous seasons, England have often allowed their internationals to take part in the finals day and last season it seemed to upset the rhythm of the Notts team when Alex Hales and Stuart Broad were parachuted in so hopefully Broady will be given the weekend off. On the other hand, having seen him play a few times this season, I'm still not totally sure what Ish Sodhi brings to the team - he takes few wickets and is expensive, it feels like a bit of a waste of the second overseas player slot. Hopefully he can prove me wrong and spin the Outlaws to victory in Birmingham.

Nottinghamshire Cricket website

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