Derbyshire Falcons’ five-match winning streak in the Vitality Blast came to an end, as Notts Outlaws earned a 94-run victory at Trent Bridge.
Ben Duckett hit a season’s-best 63 and Alex Hales his third half-century of the campaign as the Outlaws, who conceded a competition-record 261 against Birmingham Bears here last week, enjoyed their best night of what has been a disappointing season.
On a good batting surface, the Falcons had fancied themselves in a chase when they opted to field first but were never in the hunt, bowled out for 153 as fast bowler Zak Chappell marked his first appearance of the season by taking three for 28, veteran spinner Samit Patel three for 32 and Steven Mullaney a miserly two for 17 after Brooke Guest top-scored for Derbyshire with an unbeaten 40.
Nonetheless, with three matches to come, the Falcons remain well placed to qualify for a second Finals Day appearance in four years.
After racking up 95 in the powerplay at Derby earlier in the season, the Outlaws punished the Falcons bowlers again with 86 off the first six and never took their foot off the pedal.
Hales set the tone with a brutal 55 off just 22 deliveries. The all-time leading English batter twice cleared the ropes as he plundered 21 against Sam Conners in the second over and lofted a towering straight six off Mattie McKiernan to complete his half-century.
As on Tuesday against Leicestershire, was caught at long-on attempting a repeat, but where he was the only Outlaw to pass 12 on a dismal night, this time he had plenty of support.
? “As an emerging team, our good and bad cannot be that far apart.”
— Derbyshire CCC (@DerbyshireCCC) June 23, 2022
Joe Clarke, who got away with a miscue when still in single figures, pulled Wayne Madsen’s opening ball for six to move to 38 before he was caught by the bowler off a towering top edge.
Three boundaries in a row by Duckett off Madsen took the Outlaws to 124 for two at half-way, which became 188 for three after 15 after Mullaney has blasted 45 off 20 balls including four sixes, three of them off consecutive balls from Scrimshaw as a top-edge over long leg was followed by two more launched over mid-wicket, where he was caught going for another.
Duckett completed his first half-century of the year before hitting straight to mid-on and Samit Patel was brilliantly caught by Leus du Plooy on the midwicket boundary as Mark Watt (one for 51) and Scrimshaw (two for 62) picked up consolation wickets, but four boundaries by Tom Moores took the Outlaws past their previous record total, also against Derbyshire, of 227 in 2017.
The Falcons responded with 72 in their powerplay but at the cost of three wickets, critically among them that of leading scorer Shan Masood, bowled making room to cut by Chappell. Luis Reece and McKiernan were the other two casualties, as Clarke and Mullaney pulled off fine catches.
Australian all-rounder Hayden Kerr struck 24 off 11 but was stumped off Mullaney’s first delivery. His seventh bowled Madsen in an attempted reverse sweep and at the halfway point the required run-rate was just shy of 15 per over at 99 for five, with another setback soon to follow as Du Plooy fell on 35, picking out mid-off to give Chappell his second wicket.
Alex Hughes skied one to become Chappell’s third scalp, Patel obtained two lbw verdicts in consecutive deliveries to remove Watt and Conners to leave the Falcons nine down in the 15th over, before Guest and Scrimshaw salvaged a little pride for the visitors by adding an unbroken 34.
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