It was 5th against 6th at Trent Bridge as the Outlaws welcomed the Falcons, both sides having played eight and won 4 in the competition so far and separated by net run rate only. Derbyshire came into the match on the back of four consecutive victories, including the double over the Yorkshire Vikings. The Outlaws on the hand came into the game having only won one of their last four, the rain effected game against Lancashire Lightening.
It was the home side who prevailed though winning by nine runs and tearing up the form book, extending a run of 1836 days since Derbyshire last won at Trent Bridge and The Notts Outlaws became only the second side to complete 100 T20 victories in English domestic cricket.
Outlaws captain Dan Christian won the toss and elected to bat on what looked to be a tough pitch to time the ball on and the Outlaws amassed what looked to be a par total of 166 for 5 from their 20 overs with Tom Moores scoring 48, Christian 39 and Root 28 the main contributors.
The innings got off to a slow start, with the pitch clearly making timing the ball difficult, the powerplay only yielding 37 runs for the loss of three wickets. Two of those wickets falling to the impressive Lockie Ferguson, with Yorkers which the batsmen would not have been able to play if he had told them he was going to bowl them as he stood at the top of his mark, such was pace and accuracy of them.
The pitch continued to show itself to be tricky throughout the match, with the outlaws failing to hit a boundary between the 11th and the 17th over when Dan Christian unleashed an onslaught which in all reality ensured victory. He scored 47 runs off the last three overs, 22 of which came of Matt Critchley’s last over, which put a dent in his figures of 1 for 34 off his four.
Ferguson and Riaz both had very impressive figures of 2 for 15 from four and 1 for 17 from 4 respectively and can be very happy with how they bowled. However, both of their bowling figures paled into insignificance compared to Man of the Match Ish Sodhi’s figures of 4 for 17, choking the life out of the middle of the Derbyshire Falcons innings and winning the game for the Outlaws.
Had it not been for Sodhi’s excellent bowling, it may been the Falcons heading back down the A52 with a win under their belts as, after the powerplay, Derbyshire were looking good on 57 for 1.
Overseas bowler Riaz was promoted up the order again and scored his highest T20 score to date of 53 off 31 balls including four 4s and four 6s. He fell the very next ball after bringing up his 50 and with this and Wayne Madsen’s dismissal also to the metronomic Sodhi, the Falcons lost all impoteus and the Outlaws total always looked beyond them from Sodhi’s last over, the 14th of the innings.
Critchley came in at the end but could not repeat his heroics of Queens Park and fell in the last over for a run-a-ball 27, left with too much to do.
It’s a quick turn around for the Falcons who play the Birmingham Bears tomorrow night, who will be full of confidence after defeating the Leicestershire Foxes and find themselves one place and one point behind the Falcons who remain in 6th. The Outlaws have a day off before welcoming The Worcestershire Rapids to Trent Bridge and will be hoping to leapfrog them into the quarter final places.