Outlaws condemn Falcons to third successive defeat

Harry Gurney
Harry Gurney

An outstanding all-round performance gave the Notts Outlaws a convincing seven wicket win over the Derbyshire Falcons who crashed to a third consecutive NatWest Blast defeat on Friday night.

The Outlaws bowled superbly with Harry Gurney taking 4 for 20 and Andre Russell and Jake Ball both claiming two wickets to restrict the Falcons to 114 from 19.3 overs with only Chesney Hughes and Jimmy Neesham getting into the 20s.

That was never likely to be enough and an unbroken stand of 58 in seven overs between Riki Wessels and Dan Christian settled the North Group game with 33 balls to spare.

The Falcons started badly when Russell had Hamish Rutherford caught behind for a duck off the second ball and Hughes should have gone in the same over but Ball spilled the catch diving forward at long leg.

That threatened to be expensive as Chesney Hughes pulled Russell through midwicket for four before a top edged hook at the West Indian sailed over fine leg for six.

Ball produced a yorker to remove Neil Broom in the fourth over and in the next, Chesney Hughes played across Gurney and was lbw for 26 from 21 balls to leave the Falcons on 29 for 3.

Shiv Thakor drove Gurney for two fours but was bowled aiming a slog-sweep at Steve Mullaney and Russell returned to deceive Wayne Madsen with a slower ball.

Neesham top-edged a hook at Russell for six but the Outlaws built up pressure with clever bowling and sharp fielding that restricted the Falcons to 29 in seven overs.

Alex Hughes swung Samit Patel to deep midwicket, Neesham pulled Ball to wide midwicket and Tom Poynton also picked out a boundary fielder on the legside.

When Matt Critchley cut Russell for four in the 19th over, it was the first boundary for 43 balls but there was no late flourish for the Falcons as Gurney bowled Ben Cotton and Andy Carter.

Derbyshire needed early wickets and after Riki Wessels and Michael Lumb drove Neesham for boundaries in the second over, Madsen had Lumb lbw in the third.

Greg Smith straight drove Carter for six and upper cut him for four but was run out for 12 off the next ball by a direct hit from Alex Hughes at mid off.

The Falcons had a chance to put pressure on the Outlaws when Russell pulled Alex Hughes to midwicket on one but Chesney Hughes put down the chance and in the next over, the Jamaican pulled Cotton onto the pavilion roof before lifting him over backward square for another six.

Cotton hit back by having Russell caught at third man for 15 off eight balls but the Outlaws went into the last ten overs needing only 42 and Christian drove Alex Hughes for consecutive sixes before finishing the contest with another maximum off Neesham.