Notts Outlaws beat Northants Steelbacks in T20

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Notts Outlaws claimed their second NatWest T20 victory in as many days after defeating Northants Steelbacks by 10 wickets under the DLS method at Trent Bridge.

Set a victory target of 196, the Outlaws had reached 52 without loss after 5.1 overs when heavy rain set in and prevented any further play.

DLS at that time showed 40 as being the target.

Alex Hales was unbeaten on 30 at the time, with Riki Wessels, who scored a century in Friday evening’s win over Derbyshire, on 14.

Earlier, the visitors made 195 for eight after being asked to bat first by Notts captain Dan Christian. Richard Levi top-scored with 88 from just 43 balls for the Steelbacks, bludgeoning seven fours and eight sixes in a brutal display of ball-striking.

New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi claimed three wickets for 39 for the home county, whilst Harry Gurney picked up two wickets in the final over to finish with three for 46.

Levi’s innings gathered momentum in just the third over of the match, with Jake Ball twice being hit into the crowd. The South African clubbed three more sixes in his 26-ball half century, which boosted the Steelbacks’ total into three figures by the ninth over.

Luke Wood stemmed the flow of runs with a brace of wickets from consecutive deliveries in the eleventh over. The 21-year old left-armer had been made to wait until his fifth outing in this format before striking for the first time but he then bowled Ben Duckett for 28 and had Rory Kleinveldt caught at point from his next delivery.

The youngster would also have added Levi to his tally but he over-stepped and was called for a no ball as the opener lofted down the ground and into the hands of Steven Mullaney, when on 81.

Levi only added seven more runs before Sodhi, who had earlier removed Adam Rossington for 17, had him taken by Hales on the midwicket fence, to the relief of most of the 7,638 gate.

Alex Wakeley made 19 from 16 balls but he became Gurney’s 100th victim in T20 cricket when he picked out Wood at deep backward square leg when looking to accelerate.

The pace man dismissed both Rob Newton and Steven Crook in the closing over before Ben Sanderson launched the final ball of the innings into the pavilion seats.

It took Hales and Wessels only 4.3 overs to bring up the Notts’ 50 as they began their pursuit of 196. Light drizzle then began to intensify and the umpires had no option but to take the players from the field after just one delivery of the sixth over.

The outcome lengthens Northants’ unhappy record at Trent Bridge, where they have never won in T20 cricket and where their last win in any format was a one-day success in 2003.

They did taste success in their last meeting with the Outlaws, however, winning their semi-final clash at Finals Day last season.

After losing their opening two matches, this time around, Notts now have four points from four games, whilst the defending champions missed out on a chance to take top spot in the north group but remain second on seven points from six matches.

Notts are next in action on Tuesday when they face Durham at Chester-le-Street, whilst Northants host Worcestershire on Thursday, in their next fixture.