Nottinghamshire Outlaws continued their slick form in the Royal London One-Day Cup tonight and, despite around five hours of rain, moved through to the semi-finals after a quality victory over the reigning champions. Durham have a line up of high class batters, but they were no match for the calm and professional bowling of Steven Mullaney and Samit Patel.
Durham won the toss and, with one eye on the weather, put the hosts in to bat. A frustrating break for rain did not hamper Alex Hales’ efforts as he and the rest of the Notts top order put together an innings of 170 off 24 overs. Knowing time was limited, the Outlaws thumped an impressive 76 off the final 40 balls.
Hales top scored with 62 before becoming one of Paul Collingwood’s three wickets for the evening, the other two being captain James Taylor and spinner Patel.
Patel may have struggled with the bat, but with the ball he was as cool as ever. Durham faced an adjusted target of 194 runs in 24 overs and, despite looking on top of the innings for a period, came apart under the almost disquieting calm of Patel.
Credit must go to captain Taylor for knowing just when to bring Patel on and, right from his first over, the 30 year old made an impact. He broke the dangerous-looking partnership of Calum MacLeod and Graham Clark, who were doing a fine job of rebuilding a Durham innings that had gone from 63-0 to 64-3 in just a handful of balls.
After removing Clark, Patel followed with the wickets of MacLeod, Ryan Pringle and John Hastings and Durham must’ve quickly realised the game was done. Patel finished the evening with a very impressive four wickets for 11.
Mullaney also contributed with the ball, removing both Phil Mustard and the ever-dangerous Paul Collingwood in one over. He later added the wicket of Gordon Muchall and removed the bails that had Chris Rushworth run out.
In the end, Durham were outplayed by a professional bowling performance from the Outlaws and fell 49 runs short of the required target. Nottinghamshire go through to the semi-final, for which they will travel South to meet either Kent or Surrey.