By Rob Barnett
Glamorgan captain Mark Wallace made no secret of his belief that David Hussey being dropped early in his innings was the turning point that led to Notts Outlaws easing to Yorkshire Bank 40 glory.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Wallace, who won the toss, had overseen Notts being reduced to 90 for four when, in the next over, Gareth Rees shelled Hussey on three low down at mid-off.
Not only did that deny young off-spinner Andrew Salter a third scalp, Hussey and Chris Read crucially added 99 for the fifth wicket with 42 and 53 respectively. That set a base for the lower order to accelerate to 244 for eight.
While Wallace was careful not to criticise Rees strongly, he admitted the spill left the Welsh county with too much to chase in overcast conditions at Lord’s.
Asked if it was the turning point, Wallace replied: "It clearly was. That was the partnership we needed to break and we had that opportunity. It wasn't an easy chance at mid-off, but if we could have broken that partnership and got into their lower middle order I think we would have been chasing a lower score.
“As it was that didn't happen. I thought they (Read and Hussey) played very well. That partnership was outstanding from two senior guys and probably just took the score over that comfortable level as far as a chase goes.”
Nevertheless, Glamorgan overcame the quick loss of Wallace to reach 108 for two in the 20th over when Chris Cooke was bowled for 46 by a beauty from Samit Patel.
That was the first of three breakthroughs in as many overs for man of the match Patel as Notts took the last eight wickets for 49 runs.
Wallace said: “That partnership was just building, Jim Allenby and Chris Cooke, but once we lost the wicket there and another one in quick succession, it's amazing how quickly the run-rate does spiral when you're chasing a score like 240.
“For the guys coming in after, it was a little bit tougher. Samit Patel I thought bowled very well on the pitch. It started to spin a little bit more and he seemed to really fire the ball in and get something out of it. From 100 for two we were pretty confident but games can change very quickly.”
Patel overshadowed wicketless England spinner Graeme Swann, bowling Jim Allenby for 34 with another sharp turner before beating Murray Goodwin’s sweep to win an lbw verdict.
Wallace added: “I think a lot of people would have been looking to Graeme Swann to be the match-winner when it came to spin, but we played him very well.
“Samit got key batsmen who were set with very good pieces of bowling. They weren't loose shots or anything like that; they were genuinely got out and I think that was probably a bit of a turning point.”
Today’s game was the last in first-class and List A cricket for former England seamer Simon Jones, who hopes to keep playing Twenty20 cricket.
Jones impressed in bowling straight through his eight-over allocation, ousting top-order batsmen Alex Hales and James Taylor en route to figures of 2-36.
Glamorgan head of elite performance Matthew Mott said: "I think it would have been a fitting send-off for Simon to go out in a winning team, but he can go out with his head high.
“It was definitely his best spell of the year. I think Mark used him really well. It was always looking like he was going to finish a spell and then something kept you interested.
“He bowled extremely well and it's disappointing he doesn't get to go out on the winning side, but I'm sure from a personal point of view he'll be happy with his performance.”
Mott, who is leaving his post at the climax of the campaign, also praised Salter after the 20-year-old likewise snared two key batsmen.
"Salter just continues to impress. I think he's got a lot of steel about him and he's not overawed by the occasion. I thought he bowled extremely well,” Mott added.
“I think there's the basis there of a nucleus of young players coming through and some quality players in there that will contest I reckon over the next couple of years, and that's exciting.”