Nottinghamshire see off Leicestershire in Royal London Cup at Welbeck
Nottinghamshire advanced their Royal London Cup ambitions in ruthless style, cruising past Leicestershire by seven wickets with almost 30 overs to balls to spare in front of an appreciative audience at Welbeck Cricket Club.
Skipper Peter Trego hit two sixes off pace bowler Chris Wright in his 31-ball 39, Ben Slater picked up six boundaries in his 38 and the young South African batter Matthew Montgomery 27 not out, reaching a target of 145 in 20.2 overs.
Earlier, Luke Fletcher had taken four for 30 and Dane Paterson three for 25 as Leicestershire were bowled out in 43.1 overs, 16-year-old leg-spinning all-rounder Rehan Ahmed top-scoring with 35 not out, the highest score of a fledgling senior career, as he and Ben Mike (34) shared a 70-run stand for the eighth wicket.
And Fletcher was quick to praise another good bowling display.
Nottinghamshire’s Luke Fletcher, who took four for 30, said: “Our bowling this year in all formats has been really good.
"I think we’ve got the strength in depth we have been looking for and some good young lads coming in and performing like senior players.
"To restrict them to 144 was a complete team performance, with some good catching in the slips and behind the wicket as well.
“Personally, it’s the first time in this competition I’ve bowled 10 overs on the bounce, although I’ve bowled long spells in red-ball cricket, but sometimes when you’re getting wickets it pays to keep going.
“What’s great about this competition is that games keep coming thick and fast. You’ve just got time to recover and there is another game coming up. We’ll just take it one match at a time but we’re happy with where we are.”
After Nottinghamshire had won the toss, Fletcher had Rishi Patel edging to second slip and nipped one back to bowl Harry Swindells in his first three overs.
Fletcher removed Marcus Harris for 16, before Paterson dismissed George Rhodes via a low catch to second slip.
Fletcher, who ultimately bowled through for his full 10 overs, picked up his fourth wicket as Arron Lilley was caught behind.
When Louis Kimber edged Paterson to first slip, Leicestershire were 53 for six in the 18th, which became 68 for seven as Lewis Hill departed for 25.
Ahmed and Mike fought back, adding 70 for the eighth wicket.
But once Mike had been caught on the midwicket boundary, the innings ended quickly, Ed Barnes playing across one from Trego before Chris Wright was caught behind.
Sol Budinger set the tone for the Outlaws chase by smashing three of his first 11 balls for four before edging behind.
Slater and Trego soon rattled along at a similar pace as the Powerplay overs yielded 62 for one compared.
Trego pulled Wright for six and picked up another maximum and though both fell to quick succession, the double breakthrough won merely a stay of execution for Leicestershire before Montgomery and Lyndon James added 48 runs in 39 balls to finish the job.