Nottinghamshire are determined to hold onto their Vitality Blast crown. Having fought their way back from the jaws of defeat yesterday to tie with Derbyshire, today at Trent Bridge was a different story. Alex Hales provided the fireworks with the bat to record his fifth T20 century to finish on 101 not out, from a total of 173 for six. Notts eventually running out victors by seven runs. In reality, it was never that close.
It was a well-judged innings from the former England international Hales; he had a measure of the bowlers and the pitch, which had seen a Charlotte Edwards Cup game played on it earlier in the day.
The rest of the Notts batting didn’t stick around for long. Had one of either Joe Clarke (caught at mid-off) or Ben Duckett (top-edging a reverse sweep) stuck around, then Notts would have been looking for a total of 200.
It wouldn’t be a great day personally for Samit Patel, playing in his 200th T20 game for Notts. Patel only lasted nine balls for ten before becoming Matt Parkinson’s only wicket of the day. He later saw his four overs go for 40 runs.
Only captain Steven Mullaney offered some late innings resistance and found the boundary with the same ease as Hales.
The game was held up briefly as a Hales six appeared to hit a spectator in the face; Hales raced to make sure the fan was okay before resuming his onslaught of the Lancashire bowling.
Tom Hartley was the pick of the Lightning bowling, with his four overs going for just 25 runs and picking up the wicket of Duckett.
When Alex Davies was batting, Lancashire hearts dreamed of an unlikely win, as Davies was clearing the boundary with ease. In Davies’ first twelve balls, he had smashed four sixes. But, unfortunately for Lancashire and Davies, his innings wasn’t to last for long. The ball after he deposited one over the ropes for the fifth time, he tried his luck once too often. Clarke was thankful for the catch in the deep.
Keaton Jennings would be the key man for Lancashire. With his experience at the helm, a run chase was possible, had it not been for a superb diving catch off his own bowling by Clavin Harrison when the England international was on 21.
Notts don’t like making it easy for themselves. With two overs to go, Lancashire needed 23 runs to win. So could former Outlaw Luke Wood sneak an improbable win at his old stomping ground? A partnership between Wood (33 not out) and Steven Croft (41) took them close.
It wasn’t to be in the end, as Notts won comfortably. Lightning will have to wait another year to get over their Trent Bridge hoodoo, having not won on the East Midlands fortress since 2009.