Nottinghamshire 185 for 8 (Wessels 58, Lumb 53, Edwards 3-38) beat Lancashire 184 for 4 (Buttler 56*) by two wickets
Despite rapid half-centuries from Riki Wessels and Michael Lumb, Nottinghamshire needed the help of six penalty runs before scraping over the line to defeat Lancashire by two wickets in their NatWest T20 encounter at Trent Bridge.
Wessels made 58 and Lumb scored 53 but the home side then collapsed in pursuit of a victory target of 185, before a dramatic intervention from the rule book. Needing 15 runs from the last over, Notts were awarded those six penalty runs as the defending champions hadn’t been in a position to begin their last over before the allotted cut-off time.
A Sam Wood maximum, heaved high over the leg-side boundary, either side of a couple of scrambled singles, left Luke Fletcher to clip Arron Lilley away for the winning run, with two deliveries remaining.
After Jos Buttler‘s unbeaten 56 had helped Lancashire to 184 for 4, Notts had been sent on their way by their openers, with Wessels scoring his runs from 31 balls, with seven fours and three sixes, while Lumb registered his first fifty in domestic T20 cricket since July 2013.
The chase got off to an explosive start, with 72 runs coming from the six Powerplay overs. The opening partnership had been extended to 100, a county T20 record against the Red Rose, by the time Lumb hit Stephen Parry to deep midwicket. Wessels was then bowled by Jordan Clark, who also removed Samit Patel for nought, before George Edwards grabbed 3 for 38, as Notts slumped from 143 for 2 to 168 for 8.
Earlier, Buttler’s 27-ball 50 ensured the visitors finished their innings on a positive note. Martin Guptill and Alviro Petersen had put 40 on for the first wicket, before Harry Gurney had the New Zealand international caught in the deep for 28. Petersen followed for 21, trapped lbw by Patel, one delivery after lofting the spinner back over his head for six.
Patel also removed the dangerous Liam Livingstone, who edged behind to Wessels. The wicketkeeper then handed over the gloves to Brendan Taylor, with the former Zimbabwe captain remaining behind the sticks for the second half of the innings.
Karl Brown followed up his Roses’ half century on Friday evening with another handy contribution, although he should have fallen on 39 when he received a grateful gift from a close friend – Steven Mullaney, Brown’s pal from their days together in the Lancashire academy, put down the simplest of caught-and-bowled chances.
Wessels, out on the ropes this time, took his second catch of the innings to remove Brown but that only enabled Buttler to take centre stage for some belligerent hitting, late in the innings. Three sixes in four balls, two of them from consecutive Gurney deliveries, helped take Buttler to his half-century and onwards to an unbroken 59-run partnership with Steven Croft.
After two defeats, Notts now have their first victory in this season’s competition, while Lancashire’s record now stands at one win and three losses.
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