Taylor and Patel too good for Northants
James Taylor hit a fine century and Samit Patel a whirlwind 95 as Nottinghamshire Outlaws opened their Yorkshire Bank 40 campaign in style with an 83-run win over Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Wantage Road.
The visitors, fielding six England internationals, batted with real purpose en route to 287 for four, Taylor scoring 108 off 102 balls and Patel adding further impetus with a boundary-laden 66-ball knock.
An efficient Nottinghamshire display with the ball followed and their victory was assured long before Northamptonshire closed on 204 for eight. Patel rounded off a wonderful individual display with 3-30 and Andrew Hall’s unbeaten 58 proved in vain.
Chris Read opted to bat upon winning the toss and the visitors made hay on a decent surface, despite losing Michael Lumb to Trent Copeland in the second over.
Alex Hales assumed the dominant role in the initial stages and reached 50 from as many balls shortly after being badly dropped at short fine-leg off Hall.
The miss did not prove costly, as Hales was bowled aiming a crude swipe at Steven Crook.
That brought in Patel, who went on to add 149 with Taylor inside 18 overs.
Taylor’s progress was sedate at first, but after taking 69 balls over his first fifty he then raced to three figures in a further 29 deliveries before picking out long-on off Crook.
Patel, dropped twice before reaching 40, was in full flow by that stage. However, he fell narrowly short of his own century when falling in the final over, a skier off Copeland providing the bowler with a return catch.
Riki Wessels provided an effective cameo with a couple of sixes and Northants duly fell apart following a promising start to their reply.
Stephen Peters and Kyle Coetzer put on 59, before Northants lost six for 17 in a miserable collapse.
Peters, advancing down the pitch to Patel, had his stumps rattled and the same fate befell Coetzer as he had his leg stump removed by Jake Ball in the next over.
Alex Wakely missed an attempted reverse-sweep off Patel, who then had Ben Duckett caught off a pre-mediated switch hit after David Sales had steered a short, wide offering from Ball to backward point.
The wickets kept on coming, Crook stumped in Graeme Swann’s first over and debutant Matthew Spriegel falling to Steven Mullaney.
Hall and James Middlebrook, who made 43, provided some belated resistance in a partnership of 97 but the run-rate swiftly spiralled out of control.