Hales leads Notts canter
Nottinghamshire 207 for 4 (Hales 75) beat Northamptonshire 205 for 9 (Wakely 59, Ball 3-33, Shahzad 3-40) by six wickets
Alex Hales powered Nottinghamshire to a convincing six-wicket win over Northamptonshire at Trent Bridge.
The opener scored 75 from 71 balls, hitting eight fours and two sixes, to help Nottinghamshire stretch their lead at the top of Yorkshire Bank 40 Group A to four points with only three matches remaining.
Set to score 206 for their eighth win in nine matches, Nottinghamshire cantered to victory with 44 deliveries remaining to push Northants back to third place in the table.
Hales' highest one-day score of the summer was ended in unconventional circumstances, as he drove Kyle Coetzer's first ball of the summer straight into the hands of Alex Wakely at extra cover. It was only Coetzer's third wicket in 100 one-day outings.
Earlier, Northants scored 205 for 9 having elected to bat first, with Wakely top-scoring with 59 from 52 deliveries with four fours and two sixes. For the home side, Jake Ball recorded figures of 3 for 33 with Ajmal Shahzad claiming 3 for 40.
Northants failed to get any momentum in their innings, losing wickets at regular intervals. Apart from Wakely, six other batsmen reached double figures without getting to 30. Opener David Willey twice cleared the ropes inside the first seven overs before becoming the first of Shahzad's victims, well taken by David Hussey on the long-on boundary for 29.
Cameron White helped Wakely add 59 for the fourth wicket but used up 52 deliveries in making 29 before prodding one of Steven Mullaney's off-cutters straight to Samit Patel in the covers.
The batting Powerplay proved to be particularly costly for the visitors, with Shahzad removing both Steven Crook and Matt Spriegel in a double-wicket maiden before Wakely lofted Ball to Mullaney as three wickets fell for six runs in just 10 deliveries.
Michael Lumb helped Hales get Nottinghamshire off to an explosive start, the pair adding 64 inside 10 overs. Lumb hit seven boundaries in his 36 but his departure and the subsequent run-out of James Taylor briefly brought the visitors back into contention.
Taylor, who went into the match with a tournament average of 114 this season, made only five before trying for a risky single to mid-on and being run out by a direct hit from Willey.
Patel made 37, in a stand of 81 with Hales, as Nottinghamshire bounced back from the disappointment of their midweek loss in the Friends Life t20 quarter-final.