Trent Rockets win by 29 runs in a commanding performance.
It was a top versus bottom clash at Trent Bridge as any last hope of Welsh Fire getting a consolation win to sign off from a miserable campaign disappeared while Trent Rockets will be dreaming of Finals Day at the weekend. The last thing that went well for Fire was they won the toss and asked the home team to bat first.
With Rockets packing some firepower, it made sense to see if they would burn themself out early on and Fire sweep up an easy chase. However, that is still a brave call when Alex Hales and Dawid Malan stride out to the middle with purpose.
The openers have formed a good understanding, and with Hales’ see ball, hit ball miles approach, it allows Malan to settle in and go through the gears. That isn’t to say Malan can’t match his partner, and the pair added 89 from 58 balls before Hales was the first to go finding the fielder David Miller out at deep point.
Hales 38 from 29 balls seemed pedestrian compared to his teammates. Daniel Sams cleared the ropes three times and hit two fours in a 14-ball 31, but Malan would top score with a 37-ball 58.
The only Rockets batter not to score a six was Lewis Gregory, who faced two balls towards the back end of the innings as Trent Rockets’ 172 for four looked a tough ask for a side not used to winning. So it proved.
Rockets could turn to Samit Patel on a used pitch, who knows every inch of the Trent Bridge ground and Tabraiz Shamsi, their South African spinner. While both are left-arm spinners, they offer different problems to the batters they bowl at.
Patel was the happiest player on the ground when he had his Nottinghamshire teammate Joe Clarke stumped for 15, and the bowler sprinted across the outfield in unbridled glee. The importance of the wicket was not lost on anyone looking on. It left Fire 38 for two.
The pressure was on another local hero Ben Duckett to keep the Fire runs flowing. He was doing so before he became the first of Shamsi’s two victims after scoring 25 from 21 deliveries, the dangerous David Miller the other for five.
Matt Critchley, who was recently plying his trade near the River Derwent, the other mighty East Midlands river, was the last real hope for the visitors.
He would finish unbeaten on 55 from 35 balls, but it would never be enough for a player that continues to show his worth.
Welsh Fire will lick their wounds and hope to come back stronger next year, safe in the knowledge things can’t get worse. For Trent Rockets, they will be hoping that the next week brings about similar results.