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Outlaws come out on top in run fest

Nottinghamshire Outlaws clinched their third win in the NatWest T20 Blast after beating Leicestershire Foxes by 24 runs in a thrilling run-laden clash at Grace Road.

Put into bat, the Outlaws smashed a club-record total of 220 for four with Riki Wessels hitting 66 off 31 balls and Samit Patel 63 off 37 balls.

But the Foxes responded to the daunting challenge in impressive fashion and did not fall too far short as they made 196 for five, with 25-year-old Greg Smith making a magnificent 102 – his career-best in the competition.

He struck 13 fours and four sixes in his brilliant 54-ball innings but it was not enough to prevent Leicestershire from slipping to their fifth consecutive defeat.

Only skipper Josh Cobb was able to give Smith any real support in a second-wicket stand of 74 in 7.4 overs. Cobb made 40 off 27 balls with two sixes and three other boundaries before holing out to long-off.

Between them Smith and Cobb kept the Foxes in with a chance of a sensational victory and at the halfway point they were only five runs behind where the Outlaws were at the same stage.

Smith, producing a dazzling array of shots on both sides of the wicket reaching his 50 off 32 balls and took only another 20 balls to post his century.

Rikki Wessells hit a rapid 66 of 31 balls as the Outlaws racked up a mammoth 220 for four in their 24-run win against Leicestershire Foxes

But he finally fell to the last ball of the 17th over when he skied a catch off Harry Gurney. That effectively ended Leicestershire's hopes of a much-needed win.

The Foxes bowlers also took a real battering with Wessels and Patel leading the charge that gave the Outlaws their best-ever score in T20.

Even without the injured Michael Lumb at the top of the order, Notts had more than enough firepower to clear the ropes with a barrage of boundaries.

They were helped by a dropped catch that gave Wessels a life when he had made 36. He was put down by Ben Raine at midwicket off the bowling of Cobb. It proved an expensive drop.

Alex Hales took 11 off the first over from Jigar Naik to set the tone but was bowled by a ball from Raine that kept low.

Phil Jaques, replacing Lumb, made a breezy 22 but it was the last over of the power play that made the big difference. Wessels cut loose hitting three successive sixes off Nathan Buck in an over that went for 25 runs. Buck finished with figures of 0-60.

Naik eventually had Wessels, who hit seven fours and four sixes, caught by Raine and Patel clipped Cobb to midwicket having hit seven fours and two sixes, but James Taylor and Chris Read saw Notts through to a match-winning total.

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