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Hales and Wessels inspire Notts

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Alex Hales

Opener Alex Hales struck 60 off 38 balls to help Notts extend their lead to four points at the top of the Friends Life t20 North Group

Openers Alex Hales and Riki Wessels both hit half-centuries as Nottinghamshire Outlaws took another step towards the quarter-finals of the Friends Life t20 by thrashing Lancashire Lightning by 53 runs.

The pair put on 85 for the first wicket before Hales was bowled for 60 - his fourth score of 50 or more in the competition - off 38 balls with seven fours and two sixes.

Wessels went on to make 76 from 49 balls with five fours and four sixes in a total of 184 for four.

That proved enough for the hosts to extend their lead at the top of the North Group as Lancashire were bowled out for 131 in 18 overs, Andre Adams taking 2-19 in his first t20 appearance this season.

Steven Croft’s 55 off 28 balls was the only Lancashire highlight, but after he fell to former Red Rose all-rounder Steven Mullaney, the visitors slipped quickly to their fifth defeat in 10 matches.

Hales was the faster of the two Nottinghamshire batsmen out of the blocks as he hit two fours off the first over of the match from Simon Kerrigan, before taking three consecutive boundaries off Junaid Khan’s second over.

He also pulled Sajid Mahmood for six and hit Stephen Parry for a straight maximum before the left-arm spinner got his revenge, bowling Hales in the 11th over.

Wessels had just been dropped by Stephen Moore having scored 21 and went on to make the visitors pay for their miss.

Adam Voges drove Parry to long-off for 17 and although Khan yorked Wessels in the 18th over, the damage had already been done.

Lancashire’s hopes took an immediate dent when Moore was brilliantly caught by wicketkeeper Chris Read, flying to his right for a catch off Darren Pattinson.

Croft kept Lancashire up with the required rate but could not find a partner to stay with him as Tom Smith and Farveez Maharoof were both caught off mis-cued shots.

And when Croft himself failed to clear extra cover, the rest of the Lancashire batting collapsed, Mullaney claiming 2-23 and Graeme White 2-26.

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