A tense game came to a dramatic finish at Trent Bridge, where Alex Hales and Ben Stokes were at the controversy centre. Hales hit an unbeaten 40, hitting the winning runs with a huge six taking Trent Rockets to victory by two wickets with six balls left.
Spin had already undone the Northern Superchargers at Cardiff on Saturday. As a result, Stokes opted to bat after winning the toss. It didn’t stop Trent Rockets from bowling 70 balls of spin on a pitch that had already had three games played on it.
The unsung spinner of the Rockets line-up, Matthew Carter, made the crucial early breakthroughs of Chris Lynn (2) and Ben Stokes (5). When Rashid Khan bowled Adam Lyth for ten, Northern Superchargers were 38 for three and floundering.
Up stepped the highly-rated Harry Brook (30) and John Simpson (42). Together they added 61 for the fourth wicket in just 40 balls. Rockets captain Lewis Gregory made the breakthrough, and having Brook caught by Marchant de Lange changed the momentum of the innings.
Rashid Khan (3 for 31) and de Lange (3 for 31) were on the prowl for wickets, eventually bowling Northern Superchargers out for 132 with a ball to spare.
It was a similar story for Trent Rockets; at 41 for five, it looked a hopeless endeavour. Dawid Malan was trapped lbw by Rashid for a third ball duck, and next ball Joe Root followed.
The wild card was Alex Hales. At one point, he had scored just 12 runs from 22 balls.
Cameos from Gregory (14 from 8) and Khan (25 from 12) just nudged Trent Rockets in the right direction.
With things getting tense on the field, a pitch invader, bare torsoed, appeared as Hales ran through for a single. Both sides decided it was a dead ball and played the ball again, a ball that Hales smashed towards Stokes at long-on, only for the England international to spill the ball over the ropes for six.
It suddenly seemed to be the Rockets night. However, there was still work to do.
Hales finally found some support from Carter. With ten balls left, Trent Rockets needed 16 runs. However, Carter carted David Willey to the Ratcliffe Road end the following delivery, and the equation started to fall in Trent Rockets favour.
With the balls running out, the target got nearer. When Willey no-balled, Hales stepped up to hit the winning six into the Smith-Cooper stand to cheers from the crowd of over 11,000 – and an unlikely victory.