The Daily Telegraph - Business : 2020-09-14

Sport | Cricket : 23 : 15

Sport | Cricket

15 The Daily Telegraph Monday 14 September 2020 ** Hales and Clarke send Notts four points clear Nottingham­shire Outlaws moved four points clear at the top of the North Group as they beat Derbyshire Falcons by 13 runs in the T20 Vitality Blast at Trent Bridge. Joe Clarke scored 57 off 35 balls, his third half-century in the competitio­n, and Alex Hales hit 49 from 32 as the Outlaws powered to 198 for six from 20 overs. Wayne Madsen led a spirited chase with 68 from 46 balls while Matt Critchley hit 44 from 28, but Jake Ball bowled well under pressure to take two for 36 as the Falcons closed on 185 for six and are still without a win. It was no surprise when the Outlaws elected to bat first and, although they lost Chris Nash in the second over when he chipped to deep midwicket to give Dustin Melton his first T20 wicket, Hales and Clarke laid the platform for another imposing total. Hales hit four consecutiv­e fours off Michael Cohen as the Outlaws took 65 from the powerplay before Clarke pulled and drove Alex Hughes for the first sixes of the innings. The pair added 93 in eight overs before Hales skied Hughes to long on and, although Clarke was dropped on 50 by Critchley running in from long off, he pulled Hughes to long on in the next over. Benny Howell announced his return for after more than a year out by blasting an unbeaten 49 off 18 balls in an 11-run win over at Taunton. The visitors posted 203 for six after losing the toss, Howell and Jack Taylor (31 not out) cutting loose after Ian Cockbain’s 50 from 27 balls had provided early momentum. Max Waller escaped the carnage with three for 18. In reply, Somerset made 192 for eight, 18-year-old Will Smeed hitting a valiant 82 on only his second T20 appearance and Lewis Gregory contributi­ng 38. The game summed up the contrastin­g fortunes of the two West Country clubs. For Central Group leaders Gloucester­shire, it was a fifth successive win, while Somerset’s dismal campaign has now featured four defeats. Matty Potts claimed career-best T20 figures to inspire to a six-wicket win over at Chester-le-Street. Potts was accurate with the ball in his fourover spell of three wickets for 19 runs, leading a discipline­d effort in the field from the home side. Liam Trevaskis was also impressive with figures of two for 17, preventing the Foxes from setting a competitiv­e total. Arron Lilley topscored for the visitors with 45 in their innings of 130 for nine. Sam Hain hit a 30-ball half-century as stepped up their bid to reach the knockout stages with a six-wicket success over local rivals at New Road. The Bears chased down a 179 target with five balls to spare as they secured a third successive win. Defeat effectivel­y ended the Rapids’ hopes of qualificat­ion. Jake Libby continued his excellent form by top-scoring with 63, but the Rapids lost momentum. Hain ended unbeaten on 73 from 44 balls, with three sixes, as the Bears paced their innings to perfection. Gloucester­shire Birmingham Bears Somerset Worcesters­hire Rapids