The Evening started well for Falcons skipper Billy Godleman, as he called correctly and chose to field first. Both sides made one change from their last outing, Alex Hughes coming in for the home side in place of Darren Stevens for his 200thappearance for the club, and new overseas signing Imad Wasim replacing Luke Wood for his first appearance for the visitors.
With the potential for rain to interrupt the second innings, Godleman would have been hoping to restrict the visitors to a manageable score and chase it down. It didn’t happen though, and it was the Notts Outlaws skipper Dan Christian who left the ground happy. Notts took victory by 27 runs and moved to 5 points from four games, leaving the Falcons with just two points from three games.
It was clear from the start the Outlaws had not read Godleman’s script, and set about amassing an impressive 198 for 5 off their 20 overs. Ben Duckett top scored with an impressive 64 off 40 balls, with six 4s and two 6s.
It could have been very different, though, if Fynn Hudson-Prentice had held onto to a difficult chance off the bowling of Mark Watt in the 13thover, when Duckett was on 30. Duckett was impressive and, if the England selectors were watching, he could have done little more to remind them of his qualities.
Another player who would have been hoping to remind the selectors of his abilities was Alex Hales and, like Duckett, he certainly gave them a nudge. He scored 63 off 42 balls with five 4s and three 6s, one of which was still rising as it hit the media centre above us on the second floor.
The Outlaws, and Duckett and Hales in particular, found the boundary regularly throughout the innings, only failing to find the rope in three of their 20 overs. Despite this, The Outlaws may have been disappointed to only reach 198. At one stage they would have been thinking about a score in the region of 220.
The Derbyshire bowlers came back strongly in the last five overs and took wickets regularly, with the spin of Matt Critchley – who accounted for Hales and Scotland international Mark Watt – proving to be more difficult to get away. The home side were also hampered by losing overseas bowler Logan Van Beek to a shoulder injury in the ninth over, thus not allowing him to add to his two completed overs, which had only gone for 13 runs.
While the Outlaws found the boundary with ease throughout, the Falcons fund it more difficult thanks to a combination of tight bowling and the outfield slowing up due to the drizzle that fell intermittently during the Falcons’ innings.
The only batsmen who looked like finding the boundary with ease for the Falcons were Luis Reece and Du Plooy. Reece scored a very composed 61 runs off 42 balls, which included four 4s and three 6s and kept Derbyshire in the hunt until he fell in the 16thover, as he looked to ramp Harry Gurney over Tom Moores behind the stumps – but only succeeded in ramping him straight to the waiting gloves on the Outlaws’ ‘keeper.
Du Plooy scored a rapid 27 of 14 balls, and scored all around the ground, but fell as the run rate for the home side spiralled out of reach.
If the Derbyshire Batsmen struggled, the Notts bowlers looked in control and none more so than Harry Gurney. He recorded his best ever T20 bowling figures of 5 for 30, accounting for all of Derbyshire’s top six bar Wayne Madsen, and also effected a run out with a direct hit to send Alex Hughes back to the pavilion without scoring.
Wasim – fresh from the World Cup – who bowled three miserly overs for 16 and took the wicket of Wayne Madsen, ably assisted Gurney. The other Outlaws bowlers, without taking wickets, kept it tight. While Matt Carter’s figures may not look impressive at 0 for 38 off four overs, he bowled two of those in the power play and gave his skipper great control, allowing Gurney to bowl in the middle overs just as the Derbyshire side were looking to accelerate.
The Outlaws don’t have long to wait to build on tonight’s success, as they play Leicestershire Foxes at home tomorrow. Derbyshire, meanwhile, welcome Lancashire to Derby on Sunday and will be hoping to upset the odds and get their campaign back on track.
Man of the Match
With 5 for 30 on a night when over 360 runs were scored in 40 overs, man of the match has to go to a man who bowled his four overs for 30 runs, and claimed five wickets. Harry Gurney choked the life out of the Derbyshire innings and sealed victory for his side. Throw in his run out, and he had a direct impact on 6 of the 8 wickets that fell for the Outlaws and was the true difference between the sides.