Voges leads by example
Adam Voges hit 49 off 32 balls to help Nottinghamshire continue their relentless run towards the Friends Life t20 quarter-finals with their fifth win in five home matches as Northamptonshire were beaten by 23 runs.
The Australian, the competition's leading run-scorer, was again the star, helping the hosts reach 183 for six at Trent Bridge. Compatriot David Hussey contributed 33 while David Willey took 3-31 for Northants.
In reply, the Steelbacks never got to grips with the Nottinghamshire bowling attack and, although Alex Wakely struck an enterprising 61 from 36 balls with three fours and two sixes, they finished well short on 160 for six, with former Nottinghamshire batsman Bilal Shafayat making 37.
Samit Patel kept things tight to claim 2-29 with his left-arm spin and seamer Darren Pattinson, the tournament’s leading wicket-taker, took 2-32.
Nottinghamshire have hit upon a winning formula at Trent Bridge in the past two seasons of batting first and defending a big target, and skipper Hussey had no hesitation in continuing the trend after winning the toss.
Opening batsmen Alex Hales and Riki Wessels put on 46 in the first six overs before Wessels was bowled by Willey for 29, having hit six fours from 19 balls.
Willey also removed Hales four balls later for 17 but Voges and Hussey kept up the momentum with a partnership of 50 off 35 balls.
Hussey launched James Middlebrook for six and two fours before he was lbw to Johan Botha, with Willey returning to bowl Patel, while Voges and Steven Mullaney were victims of Andrew Hall in the closing overs.
Pattinson has made a habit of picking up a wicket with the new ball and his off-cutter was too good for Rob Newton, who lost his off stump.
Shafayat and Niall O’Brien could not find the boundary in the early stages and, although Northamptonshire reached the 10th over before losing another wicket, they were well behind the run-rate.
The visiting batsmen were forced to hit out but only Wakely managed to reach the boundary, with O’Brien pulling to midwicket for 26, Shafayat caught at deep midwicket off Patel and the middle order subsiding under the pressure.