Nottinghamshire CCC v Kent CCC Royal London Cup June 14th

Nottinghamshire CCC v Kent CCC Royal London Cup June 14th at Trent Bridge 1st Quarter Final

Neil Whitaker reports

HOLDERS Nottinghamshire Outlaws were knocked out of the RL one-day cup by Kent Spitfires by nine wickets and14.1 overs to spare.

The Spitfires were put on their way to victory with a record opening partnership of 194 against the Outlaws beating the 93 made by Bob Woolmark and Mark Benson in 1983.   Heino Kuhn was unbeaten on 124, his highest List A score for the Spitfires and his third century in four List A matches.

In Harry Gurney’s second over Jhun hit him for three consecutive fours two of the off his legs which both evaded stumper Tom Moores with the fine leg up in the circle.  To try and stem the flow of runs Outlaws skipper  Steven Mullaney introduced Samit Patel into the attack after six overs.  The Spitfires fifty  came up in the eighth over to celebrate that Kuhn drove Gurney over long on  for the first  six of the Spitfires chase.  In the next over brought up his fifty  from 40 balls with seven fours and that six.    

Not to out done his partner Daniel Bell-Drummond danced down the wicket to Matt Carter and drilled the off spinner to the cover boundary to bring up the hundred partnership with Kuhn off 90 balls.  In the next over Kuhn lofted Mullaney straight back over his head for a straight six.  The partnership was broken whe Bell-Drummond raced down the wicket to Carter and was stumped.  Two balls earlier he had lofted Carter into the pavilion.

The match was wrapped up by Joe Denly who hit an unbeaten 52 from 28 balls with five sixes.  His final six which ended up on the second tier of the Radcliffe Road stand not only brought up his fifty but it took the Spitfires over the winning line.

Mullaney said: “At 24 for four  you are not going to win many matches. It was a lovely wicket the best we’ve played on this season but we’ve not been consistent all season.  Kent deserved  their place in the next round.  This match wasn’t decided by the toss if we had won the toss we would have bowled.  We have let ourselves and our fans down.  You need one of your top six to get a hundred and get you near to 320.”

The Spitfires won the toss and put the Outlaws in under blustering conditions.  At times the conditions were so bad that the bowlers had to stop in mid run.  Kiwi Matt Henry shared the new ball with winter signing Harry Podmore playing only his second List A match for the Spitfires and only playing because Mitchell Claydon was injured.

Podmore finished with his best List A figures  of four 57.  He took the first two Outlaws wickets,  one them Chris Nash in his over when he went to drive a wide ball and edged it to Spitfires skipper Sam Billings.

Tom Moores nibbled at one that left him from Podmore and Billings had his second wicket.  His third victim was Riki Wessels who pulled him to  Bell-Drummond on the square leg boundary.

Podmore said: “I wasn’t down to play but it was nice to get the nod when Claydon was declared unfit.   In the morning we had bowler friendly conditions and it was a good toss to win, there was a little nip about.

Kiwi international Henry got rid of his international colleague when Ross Taylor played around a straight ball and was plumb leg before. 

At 23 for four the Outlaws were on course for their lowest List A score against the Spitfires built they were rescued by three partnerships of 70,79 and 57 that got the Outlaws to defendable score.

The rescue act was started by skipper Mullaney and Patel as they added. 70 for the fifth wicket in 15 overs.  Patel looked set for a big score with the spinners Denly and Imran Qayyum bowled in tandem then Patel drove Imran Qayyum to Kuhn at short cover who leapt a foot in the air to parry the ball and then catch it on the rebound.

Mullaney was joined by Billy Root and the Outlaws needed these two to have a big partnership and they didn’t disappoint.  Mullaney swept Imran Qayyum four a couple to bring up his fifty off 62 balls with six fours. It was Imran Qayyum who broke their partnership when Root clipped  Imran Qayyum off  his legs to Kuhn at short mid wicket.

With five overs remaining Mullaney went  for an expansive drive off Podmore but cue ended  it to Imran Qayyum at short third man.  There was only one thing that Luke Fletcher and Carter do and that was to swing thge bat and luckily for the Outlaws it paid off.  Fletcher has this season moved up the order and his only form of defence is to have a big swing and work on the basis that if he doesn’t know where he’s hitting the ball then the fielders definitely have no idea where the ball is going.  He swotted Henry for six over square leg to make a mess of his figures. Fletcher  would back away towards square leg  and still managed to reach the ball and get it away to the boundary.

Carter followed the lead given to him by Fletcher and the Outlaws’ fans lapped it up and it was Carter who brought up both the fifty partnership with Fletcher and the Outlaws 250 when he hit Calum Haggett for a six over long on into the Pavilion. with a sic over long on off.

The Spitfires now travel to Worcester on Sunday for the semi final and Podmore said: “Worcestershire are a very good side but so are we, we are underrated but we are special.”

FULL SCORECARD