Taylor downs Royals again
James Taylor proved to be Hampshire’s nemesis once again as he helped guide Nottinghamshire to a six-wicket victory over the Group B leaders in their Clydesdale Bank 40 clash at Trent Bridge.
The Royals were made all too aware of Taylor's talent when he produced a magnificent unbeaten century to defeat them at the Ageas Bowl, and his 74 here ensured Notts completed a double with 17 balls remaining.
James Vince scored his first CB40 century of the season, hitting an unbeaten 102 as Hampshire posted 230 for seven, with Samit Patel, Darren Pattinson and Andy Carter claiming two wickets apiece.
But Notts openers Riki Wessels and Alex Hales tucked into Hampshire’s attack in a boundary-laden opening five overs which yielded 48 runs.
Hales laid the groundwork with a brisk 70 that allowed Taylor and Co to chase down their target with ease.
The hosts won the toss and put Hampshire in - no doubt hoping to replicate their dazzling start with the ball against Surrey on Sunday - and instantly reaped the rewards.
Jimmy Adams nicked his first ball to Chris Read’s gloves to give Patel the opening scalp. The Outlaws duo then combined in almost identical circumstances to remove Simon Katich and leave the visitors on 13 for two.
Neil McKenzie had looked bright until the final ball of the first powerplay did for him, although Carter’s delivery appeared to strike the South African’s front pad narrowly outside the line.
Vince and Sean Ervine made steady progress in putting on a half-century stand. Ervine was fortunate that his return chance to Steven Mullaney crashed off the bowler’s body, but his luck ran out in the next set of six when he feebly prodded straight back at Graeme White to depart for 31.
Hampshire reached the halfway stage at 103 for four before Pattinson returned to leave them five down when Liam Dawson chipped to Adam Voges at midwicket.
Vince dashed through for a single to bring up his fifty and Dimitri Mascarenhas looked to up the ante when he bludgeoned Patel over the ropes for the afternoon’s first six.
He did not last much longer, though, swinging wildly at a Carter delivery which cannoned into the stumps, after which Kabir Ali's 21-ball cameo ended on 23 when he picked out Carter at fine-leg.
Vince rode his luck as Hales put down a relatively straightforward chance, but continued to run hard and reached his century from the penultimate ball of the innings.
Hales redeemed himself in the reply by compiling an opening stand of 89 with Wessels, who was promoted as ex-Hampshire batsman Michael Lumb was ruled out with a back injury.
The pair made light work of the Royals bowlers with Dawson conceding 19 runs in the eighth over, which included three successive fours from Wessels, as Notts honed in on three figures.
Hales surpassed 50, the landmark coming from just 36 balls, but Wessels tried one audacious shot too many and was trapped in front by Danny Briggs for an entertaining 38.
Hales was marching towards a century, which would have been particularly welcome given his agonising 99 for England against West Indies on the same ground, before he gave away his wicket for 70 by looping Briggs to Dawson at mid-off.
Taylor continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over, however, and Patel began to make his mark by unleashing brutal sixes in consecutive overs.
He eventually holed out to Katich on 36 for Chris Wood’s only wicket, but Taylor pushed on the accelerator with two fours off the same bowler in the 33rd over.
The ex-Leicestershire man produced a divine reverse-sweep for four on his way to becoming Notts’ highest scorer, but was not there at the end after being caught and bowled by Katich with only three needed.