Top-order power leads Notts to victory
Nottinghamshire 266 beat Gloucestershire 247 for 9 by 19 runs
Explosive hitting from Nottinghamshire's top order paved the way for a 19-run victory over Gloucestershire in the Clydesdale Bank 40 match at Cheltenham.
Alex Hales led the way with 61 off 32 balls, while Riki Wessels (37), Samit Patel (45) and Scott Elstone (36) all scored briskly as the visitors took 174 off the first 20 overs on their way to a final total of 266 all out.
Five of the wickets were taken by the Taylor brothers as 19-year-old spinner Jack returned three for 50 and 17-year-old left-arm seamer Matthew claimed two for 43 on his debut. Gloucestershire never seriously threatened to chase down their target, although Ian Cockbain made a fine 79 as the hosts finished on 247 for 9.
It had looked as if Nottinghamshire would plunder well in excess of 300 after reaching 96 for two off 10 overs and 174 for three off 20. After Ali Brown had been bowled by James Fuller in the second over, Hales and Wessels hammered 77 off 44 balls, which included taking 21 off an over from Kevin O'Brien.
Wessels had scored 37 off 24 balls when he was caught on the mid-wicket boundary by Cockbain off slow left-armer Ed Young. Hales followed him back to the pavilion three overs later when he was bowled swinging across the line at Jack Taylor, having hit 10 fours and two sixes in his 32-ball innings,
Patel and Elstone kept the score rattling along with a partnership of 67 in 10 overs, which ended when Elstone miscued a pull off James Fuller to Hamish Marshall at mid-on.
Patel was brilliantly caught by the diving Kane Williamson at extra cover off Jack Taylor, whose brother Matthew then got in the act with a double wicket maiden. He accounted for Steven Mullaney, who skied a drive to Cockbain on the midwicket boundary, and Chris Read, who cut to Marshall at point.
The last three wickets fell in the final five overs as Williamson had Ben Phillips taken by Matthew Taylor at short third man, Darren Pattinson skied Fuller to Alex Gidman at cover and Luke Fletcher was bowled by Jack Taylor.
Paul Franks was left unbeaten on 28 from 29 balls, having struck four boundaries. In reply, Gloucestershire were reduced to 57 for three in the ninth over after Fletcher yorked Marshall and had Williamson caught by Hales at deep mid-wicket and Pattinson had Alex Gidman taken at point by Mullaney.
Chris Taylor and Cockbain put on 40 for the fourth wicket, but the partnership took 11 overs as Franks, Phillips and Patel bowled with impressive control and variation. It looked all but over for Gloucestershire when Chris Taylor was lbw sweeping at Patel to make it 97 for four in the 20th over.
O'Brien and Cockbain briefly revived the home side's hopes with a stand of 46 in six overs, which ended when O'Brien was leg before to Pattinson. Jon Batty, on 32, was next to go when holed out to Elstone at long-on off Patel, and Ed Young was caught by Patel at deep mid-wicket in the next over from Mullaney's bowling.
Then, after Jack Taylor was caught at square leg off Phillips, Cockbain's impressive 84-ball innings, which contained seven fours, ended when he was bowled round his legs by Fletcher.
Fuller and Matthew Taylor put on an unbroken 32 in an entertaining last-wicket stand, but there was stopping the visitors registering a fourth win in the competition.