66 off 47 from Jason Roy was not enough as Notts ended Surrey’s nine match T20 Blast winning streak in 2020’s October final.
A day late, as well as however many Covid-induced-lockdown months late, it was a bitter eight degrees in Birmingham when Ben Duckett hit the winning runs to reach 53*, and make the Outlaws Champions once again.
Notts opted to bowl first, as the Outlaws do, with Pete Trego in for the injured Chris Nash. Meanwhile, for Surrey, Hashim Amla came back in for Jordan Clark in this 16 over final.
It was a sedate start, 8-0 after two, until Roy struck two fours off Imad Wasim’s first, and Notts’ third over. Amla struggled to 3 off 10 balls before eventually gifting Samit Patel his wicket.
Jacks also never got going, Christian retreating at mid off to pouch Jake Ball a wicket.
Laurie Evans racing to 20 off 10 helped Roy hit his stride as well, to the tune of 50 off 36 balls including seven fours. The pair put on 90 for the third wicket, the highest partnership of the day.
Evans holed out for 43 from 23 then pinch-hitter Jamie Overton departed first ball with a wild slash off Christian, Tom Moores making the catch look more spectacular than it needed to be.
England test opener Rory Burns coming in with just 2.1 overs remaining seemed odd, with Liam Plunkett still in the stands.
Foakes only got one, so Plunkett could manage a brace of twos before Christian had him caught long on last ball to finish with 4-23.
1-25 from four overs saw Samit Patel stake a claim to be second to his skipper as ‘man of finals day’.
What a start Surrey made! Alex Hales and Joe Clarke both caught at deep square after nine balls. Hales fell first ball of the innings to Topley, Clarke to Will Jacks for three, leaving Notts 4-2.
Patel came in up the order at four, so often the saviour in a rare Notts crisis.
When Burns dropped Patel at long on off Moriarty, the Surrey media team to my left had their heads in their hands. We all knew how crucial that should be. Samit Patel just does not make two mistakes in a key white ball knock. Or does he…?
He cut for four, but then two balls later, almost a carbon copy of the previous effort saw Burns this time hold on. It was surprisingly poor cricket from Patel when really not necessary.
Trego emulated his skipper’s semi-final knock and slog swept for six into the Hollies stand early on. Jamie Overton’s first over of the entire day went for 16, with three fours off former Somerset teammate Trego’s bat.
It was 77-3 and Notts were in charge at this point, with 51 needed off eight.
Surrey struck just as Trego was getting right into his stride, Dan Moriarty frustrating him eventually leading to his lbw for 31 off 21 – a match winning cameo from the 39-year-old super sub making his Notts T20 debut.
Duckett continued anchoring the innings when his captain, and SF man of the match, joined him. And this was how it ended: Duckett’s 53* off 38 balls and Christian’s 21* off 11.
It was as simple as that: the Outlaws are Champions for the second time (and the second time I have been at Edgbaston for finals day. I must be some kinda weird Outlaws lucky charm.)
Kudos to the Edgbaston grounds team and the umpires & ECB etc for getting a game on after a great (albeit short) Covid-hit season, in the second half of 2020’s memorable summer.