Taylor ton hands Notts opening win
Nottinghamshire 287 for 4 (Taylor 108) beat Northamptonshire 204 for 8 (Patel 3-30) by 83 runs
James Taylor hit a fine century as Nottinghamshire opened their Yorkshire Bank 40 campaign in some style with an 83-run win over Northamptonshire at Wantage Road. The difference in quality was marked as the visitors, fielding six internationals, batted with real purpose, Taylor scoring 108 off 102 balls, before an efficient job with the ball.
Taylor's century, plus 95 from Samit Patel, saw Nottinghamshire post 287 for 4 from their 40 overs with Northants failing to get going as they fell short of a first win. Andrew Hall hit an unbeaten 58 but it was too late as Patel combined his performance with the bat with the ball taking 3 for 30.
Chris Read called correctly electing to bat, and, after Michael Lumb fell to Trent Copeland in the second over, the visitors made hay on a decent surface.
Alex Hales assumed the dominant role in the initial stages with the initial eight powerplay overs finishing with the score at 48 for 1. Hales reached his 50 off as many balls, two runs after being badly dropped at short fine-leg off Hall, but his innings ended when he aimed a crude swipe at Steven Crook. That brought in Patel and, in collaboration with Taylor, the pair added 149 in under 18 overs.
Taylor's first 50 was relatively sedate, taking 69 balls, but he accelerated markedly to his century with three figures coming up in a further 29 deliveries before he picked out long-on shortly after to give Crook a second wicket.
Patel, dropped twice before reaching 40, was in full flow by this stage but fell five short of his own century, off just 66 balls, when he skied a return catch to Copeland in the final over.
The hosts' reply started promisingly as Stephen Peters, with 21, and Kyle Coetzer, 30, put on 50 in the Powerplay without any undue fuss but their good work quickly unravelled.
Peters, advancing down the pitch to Patel, had his stumps rattled and the same fate befell Coetzer who had his leg stump removed by Jake Ball in the next over. Two then became three as Alex Wakely missed a rashly attempted reverse sweep off Patel and at 63 for 3 a tricky task suddenly looked very difficult indeed.
David Sales then steered a short, wide offering from Ball to backward point as what was 59 without loss before Peters fell, became 64 for 4.
Ben Duckett didn't hang around too long as he gloved a pre-meditated switch hit to Read and Crook was stumped in Graeme Swann's first over. Hall and James Middlebrook provided some belated resistance with 58 and 43 respectively in a partnership of 97 but it was all in vain.