Notts Outlaws tie with Lancashire Lightning in T20 thriller
Superb death bowling by Notts Outlaws’ Jake Ball and Luke Fletcher was enough to secure a tie for their side against Lancashire Lightning after the tensest of T20 matches at Emirates Old Trafford.
Needing eight runs off the last two deliveries of their innings to overhaul the Outlaws’ 172 all out, Lancashire looked to be home when Keaton Jennings hoisted Fletcher over midwicket for six.
But the opener was run out for a 61-ball 88 by Steven Mullaney’s accurate throw when attempting to complete the second run that would have won the game. It is Nottinghamshire’s second tie in this year’s Vitality Blast.
Much earlier in the afternoon the Outlaws scored 55 runs in the Powerplay but lost three wickets in doing so. Tom Hartley was involved in all the dismissals, with the catches that removed Joe Clarke and Sol Budinger sandwiching his snaring of Alex Hales, who skied the left-arm spinner to Finn Allen at cover when he had made 33.
Clarke’s innings had included five successive boundaries in Steven Croft’s second over and something of that fearless momentum was maintained by Ben Duckett and Tom Moores, whose fifty partnership off 36 balls was brought up with Duckett’s six over square leg off Croft.
Hartley returned to end the 58-run stand when he had Duckett leg before wicket for 35. Moores, however, held things together before being eighth out for a 40-ball 48 in the nineteenth over, caught by Davies off Lamb, who finished with three for 22, his best T20 return.
Lancashire’s pursuit of their 173-run began in brutal fashion as Allen and Jennings scored 64 runs over their Powerplay overs with both openers hitting two sixes. The pair maintained a brisk rate of progress and the home side were 92 without loss at the midpoint of their innings.
Jennings brought up the century partnership with a straight six off Calvin Harrison and Allen hoisted Matt Carter over long on to reach his fifty off 36 balls. Jennings reached his own fifty off one fewer balls but Allen was caught at long off for 60 by Clarke off Patel in the same over.
The end of the 118-run opening stand was quickly followed by the departure of Alex Davies and Lancashire needed 43 runs off the last five overs.
Patel completed outstanding figures of one for 18 to leave Lightning needing 27 off three overs but 12 were still needed off the final over of the match, bowled by Fletcher.