Nottinghamshire Outlaws 120-3 14.3ovs (Christian 38*, Wessels 35*; Madsen 1-10 from 2.0ovs) beat Derbyshire Falcons 114 19.3ovs (A Hughes 26; Gurney 4-20 from 4.0ovs) by seven wickets at the 3aaa County Ground, Derby
History is littered with stories of the small guys beating the big guy, David vs Goliath, Greece winning Euro 2004 and Leicester City winning the Premier League last season, however tonight was not one of those nights.
Nottinghamshire’s superiority over Derbyshire was clear. Nottinghamshire’s side brimming with International players cruised to a comfortable victory over Derbyshire, bowling them out for 114 and then knocking the runs off inside 15 overs for the loss of just 3 wickets.
Nottinghamshire even won the toss and invited Derbyshire to bat first in glorious sunshine at the 3aaa County Ground.
With Nottinghamshire deciding to bowl they would have been keen for quick wickets and got just that with Derbyshire’s overseas batsman Hamish Rutherford caught behind second ball off Andre Russell.
It could have been even better for Nottinghamshire too though, with Jake Ball dropping Chesney Hughes at fine leg off the last ball of Russell’s over when he was still on nought.
Hughes could not escape in the fifth over when he fell LBW to another of Nottinghamshire’s international players, Harry Gurney for a bright 26 off 16 balls including three 4s and one 6.
Derbyshire lost one more wicket in the powerplay, that of Neil Broom who fell LBW to the impressive Ball for 3, with Derbyshire finishing the powerplay 43 for 3.
Wayne Madsen and Shiv Thakor, who was back from injury set about rebuilding Derbyshire’s innings, playing sensibly, but when both were bowled by Steven Mullaney and Russell respectively either side of the eighth and ninth over leaving the home side on 60 for 5 it could have spelled trouble for Derbyshire.
However it brought together captain Alex Hughes and Derbyshire’s second overseas player Jimmy Neesham, who batted sensibly putting on 30 with a mixture of well run singles and crisp boundaries.
Nottinghamshire’s bowlers never let Derbyshire get away with some excellent tight bowling from Mullaney and Samit Patel, causing Alex Hughes to hole out, caught in the deep in the 14th over off Patel for 12.
Mullaney and Patel strangled the Derbyshire innings in the middle overs, both recording impressive figures of 1-21 from their four overs in an impressive act of symmetry.
Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals for Derbyshire with Nottinghamshire’s bowlers proving difficult to score off and equally likely to take a wicket, restricting Derbyshire to an under par 114 all out from 19.3 overs. While all the Nottinghamshire’s bowlers were impressive, Ball and Gurney who took 2-18 and 4-20 respectively, were crucial in Derbyshire not reaching a challenging total.
To defend 114 Derbyshire needed early wickets, but Nottinghamshire’s opening pair weren’t obliging and set about their task well, Michael Lumb and Rikki Wessels playing some beautiful shots, especially Lumb straight down the ground. Derbyshire did strike in the third over however when Madsen accounted for Lumb, LBW for 12.
Nottinghamshire looked like they were going to negotiate the remainder of the powerplay unscathed, with new batsman Smith joining Wessels and batting well, before Derbyshire skipper Alex Hughes effected a superb direct-hit run-out from mid off, off the last ball removing Smith for 12, leaving Nottinghamshire 45 for 2 at the end of their six powerplay overs.
This brought Russell (wearing Dre Russ on his shirt in an expression of his supercool on-field persona) to the crease and Derbyshire should have had him caught fourth ball, but Chesney Hughes could not hold onto the chance, it did not cost Derbyshire dearly though, with Russell falling five balls later for 15; before departing he did manage to hit two huge sixes though, one nearly killing a camera man in the process.
This brought another of Nottinghamshire’s international contingent to the crease, in the form of big-hitting Australian batsman Dan Christian, who lived up to his reputation clubbing a brutal 38 off 24 balls including 1 4 and 3 6s as he and Wessels looked untroubled as they guided Nottinghamshire to a convincing win inside 15 overs.
Speaking to Derbyshire captain Alex Hughes after the game it was clear to see his disappointment, “We were three down in the powerplay and it was tough to come back from there, we did well to get to 114, but it wasn’t enough.” said Hughes.
“When Christian comes in and bats like that, hitting two sixes in quick succession the game is gone.
He wasn’t completely down hearted though adding “I think the score flattered them a bit, we had our field up so scoring was easier, but we had to take wickets, had we got to 140, 150 I think it would have been a very close game.
When asked about the next match he was very pragmatic, “We pack up and we move on and look to play with good intensity and win the next game, we know we have a good side and we can beat anyone.”
Man of the Match
Dan Christian and Rikki Wessels could both lay claim to this honour tonight for their batting, even Jake Ball, Samit Patel and Steven Mullaney for their bowling too, but Harry Gurney’s superb spell of bowling which choked the life out of the Derbyshire batting line up ended the game as a contest, finishing with figures of four overs, no maidens, four wickets for just 20 runs (4-0-4-20). These were also Gurney’s career best figures in the T20 format.