Notts profit from Patel presence
Samit Patel was released from England duty to carry Nottinghamshire to another Friends Life t20 victory in a high-scoring match against Derbyshire under the Derby floodlights.
Patel made the most of a dropped catch when he was on 11 to hammer an unbeaten 70 from 43 balls as the Outlaws overhauled the Falcons' imposing 170 for five with five wickets in hand and three balls to spare.
Martin Guptill had smashed 79 from 55 balls and added 74 off 38 with Ross Whiteley, who flayed 40 not out off only 19 deliveries, but Alex Hales, with a 40-ball 76, and Patel won the match to preserve Nottinghamshire’s two-point lead at the top of the North Group.
Guptill came into the game on a hot streak and, after surviving a hard chance to mid-off in the opening over, drove the ball powerfully as Derbyshire recovered from a shaky start.
Wes Durston was yorked by Luke Fletcher and Chesney Hughes struggled to time the ball before he was bowled swinging wildly at Darren Pattinson.
When Wayne Madsen fell to a reverse pull, Derbyshire had much to do, but Guptill and Garry Park gave the innings momentum before the Kiwi and Whiteley tore into the bowling.
They plundered 53 from three overs as Nottinghamshire paid a high price for Andre Adams spilling a straightforward chance at long-off in the 17th over, with Whiteley on 18.
Whiteley drove the unlucky bowler, Steven Mullaney for a huge six and Guptill then savaged Pattinson, driving the former England bowler for two fours and pulling him into the crowd for his second six.
Whiteley clipped Pattinson over midwicket for another six as 21 came from the over and, although Pattinson bowled Guptill in the last over, Whiteley signed off with a four to leave the chasing a tough target.
Tamim Iqbal's debut innings for Nottinghamshire ended with a leading edge to short third man in the third over and Durston picked up his second wicket when Adam Voges chipped tamely to mid-on in the fifth.
But Hales and Patel put the innings back on track with a mixture of power and placement to put on 105 in only 10 overs.
Hales pulled Hughes for his third six to pass 50 off just 27 balls and cleared the ropes twice more before he fell to a fine running catch by Guptill at mid-off.
Riki Wessels and Chris Read both went cheaply but Patel was the key and he sealed an impressive victory by straight-driving Tim Groenewald for six before lofting Steffan Jones for his seventh four to give Nottinghamshire their sixth consecutive t20 win at Derby.