Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell blamed the failure of his top order as they crashed out of the T20 Blast at the semi-finals, failing to chase 162 against Northamptonshire.
The Outlaws brought back Alex Hales and Andre Russell into the side, but after restricting Northants to 161-9, Ben Duckett leading the way with a brilliant 84, Newell felt it was a score they should have been able to chase down.
However Hales, Michael Lumb and Dan Christian all departed as the Outlaws fell to 15-3 and, although Russell threatened to get them over the line with 39 off 18 balls, he also fell. Notts were left with Harry Gurney and Jake Ball needing to take 15 off the final over, and finishing nine short.
“Duckett played very well, so fair play to him for turning the game around. Tthen we had a very good last three or four overs where we took wickets as well, so ultimately I think we felt that was a perfectly chase-able score,” Newell said.
“You have to win a game with your batsmen. In a chase like that you shouldn’t have Gurney and Ball out there at the end so, to me, that’s the key.
“We could’ve, should’ve taken more on at the top of the order.
“Andre drove us back in terms of the run-rate and then, when he was out, the run-rate was perfectly manageable. Obviously Read, Mullaney and Broady got us closer but that was a good catch [to remove Russell], so fair play to him.
“He [Russell] was terrific and Dan’s been our captain; he’s had an outstanding record throughout the competition, so we picked the team that we thought was the best team to win.
“I don’t think we got that wrong we just didn’t play well.”
Notts had won nine successive T20 matches in the group stage and the quarter final win over Essex and, although captain Dan Christian was proud of their run, he admitted that when it came to Finals Day they produced their worst display of the season.
“It hurts a bit now, but I’m sure looking back in a week or so we’re going to be pretty proud of how we went,” he said.
“We went nine straight and set a record for Notts with the most T20 wins in a row.
“We played some great cricket all the way through and unfortunately we probably saved our worst performance for today.”