Notts v Lancashire, NatWest T20 Blast, North Division, Trent Bridge May 16, 2014

England rejects power Nottinghamshire

Nottinghamshire 182 for 5 (Patel 56) beat Lancashire 149 (Clark 44, Mullaney 4-46) by 33 runs

A trio of discarded England batsmen saw Nottinghamshire to victory in their opening match of the NatWest T20 Blast at Trent Bridge.

James Taylor, Michael Lumb and Samit Patel - none of whom were included in the England limited-overs squads named earlier this week - thrashed 125 between them from only 84 balls to take the Nottinghamshire total out of reach of a Lancashire side that look painfully thin in terms of their batting.

If Patel, who made a 39-ball half-century, went on to record the highest score of the game, it was Taylor who most impressed. At one stage he hit James Anderson for three successive fours, before clipping Kabir Ali over midwicket for six. It was another reminder of his range of stroke and his power. Aged 24, and with a career T20 batting average of 35.16 and a List A average of 50.76, you would have thought he was exactly the sort of player the England selectors were looking towards for the future.

Indeed, Taylor could be forgiven for wondering what more he has to do. While he has spent the last few days giving positive interviews to every news outlet that was interested about the attraction of this competition, he has seen Michael Carberry, almost 10 years older and with an inferior record in all three formats of the game, recalled to the squad after delivering a scathing and not entirely accurate assessment on the team management.

Patel might wonder what more he has to do, too. Blessed with marvellous hand-eye coordination, he put away anything less than yorker length with power and skill in recording the 15th half-century of his T20 career. He later delivered four overs of gentle but well controlled left-arm spin, claiming his 100th T20 wicket in the process.

That Patel was not unbeaten was due to an outstanding boundary catch from Steven Croft in the final over of the Nottinghamshire innings. It appeared as if Patel had repeated the stroke of the previous ball - a six over long-on - but Croft produced a superb leap and held on to a catch that will have to be a contender for the best of the season.

By then the damage was done, though. Lumb and Taylor had added 54 in four overs, Patel and Riki Wessels a further 53 in 5.5 and, by the time Patel and Chris Read added another 39 in 24 balls, Nottinghamshire were out of reach.

Perhaps, had James Anderson bowled his full allocation of overs, Lancashire might have restricted Nottinghamshire to a more manageable total. The reason given by Lancashire for the seemingly odd decision was that they felt Wayne White was bowling better than Anderson.

Lancashire never threatened to get close to their target. While Jos Buttler, of whom a miracle is expected almost every time he bats, produced a few sparkling strokes - a scoop to fine-leg off his second delivery, a reverse sweep of remarkable power and a thrash over long-on - too much was required of him.

Jordan Clark, a 23-year-old with a large reputation in second XI cricket which included six sixes in an over last season, also hit the ball unusually cleanly in making 44 from 20 balls, but by then it was a question of how large the margin would be. Clark, who would be one of those players most at risk of losing his place should Andrew Flintoff make a comeback, was yorked by the impressive Andy Carter.

Almost the only fault Nottinghamshire made all evening was Taylor dropping a simple catch offered by Tom Smith at mid-on. But Alex Hales, earlier undone by a sharp short ball from Anderson, picked up the rebound and saw that Smith was run out with a fine, strong throw.

This was close to a perfect opening evening for the re-launch of the competition. On a fine pitch for this format, spectators were treated to fours and sixes, brilliant catches and hopeless drops, a couple of amusing run-outs and enough warmth to allow a crowd of 10,971 to sit in relative comfort until past 9pm. That is only just short a record for a group game on this ground and, after a home win and an entertaining evening, there is a good chance many will return.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • d on May 19, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    as a (only partially rabid) Notts fan I'm delighted that the England coaching set up aren't being allowed to ruin our excellent players & that Mick Newell didn't become part of that set up

  • David on May 17, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    A number of striking things about last night's match. [i] Taylor again showed class and incredible technique ... yet England persist in considering Bairstow (infinitely inferior in every sense) a potential test player. [ii] Read's glove work was perfect. (How badly treated he has been by the England selectors: better than Jones, better than Prior, better than Davies ... immeasurably better than Bairstow ... as a bat too.) [iii] Sammy might look plump, but he is quick ... his fielding was energetic and aggressive. Admittedly, he doesn't have a six pack. Who cares? Given that Prior is injured, Davies cannot keep at county level at the moment, and Bairstow is rubbish, why not use Read as a stop gap (he has earned it), and bat Taylor at four in all three types of cricket? And why not give Sammy a chance in the ODI squad at least, as a batsman who bowls decent left arm to complement Root or Moeen Ali? (Incidentally, I support Kent ... this is not a parti pris Notts supporter's rant.)

  • graham on May 17, 2014, 15:59 GMT

    There is one consolation for us "rabid" Notts fans. Whilst the likes of Taylor,Patel and Lumb are being ignored by the England management they can concentrate on helping Notts to win more trophies

  • david on May 17, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    geoffboyc could not agree more, other than the development side, as it was badly needed and had to be done. we made a very good profit last year and new players have to be brought in. as it is lancs will struggle in all 3 formats, as the ability in the squad is so poor. its going to be a long hard season. i would chase Watkinson he was no good as coach and his present job is plain and simple, a job for the boys. neither, in this day and age can a captain be also given the coaching job. all in all its not only up the road at the other Old Trafford thats depressing

  • Chris on May 17, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    There's a link here. The man who was responsible for the Notts match winners being rejected is the same man with a big chunk of the responsibility for Lancashire's batting being "painfully thin". No names, no pack drill, but the man in question spent five seasons at OT without a single batsman from their academy becoming a permanent Championship player. And, apart from Kerrigan no bowlers either. Add to that a hierarchy that spend millions on contentious ground development but don't see the need to replace a player who scored well over 1000 runs last season..........

  • Will on May 17, 2014, 9:31 GMT

    More dominance from Notts. They'd brush England aside in this form. Can't agree enough with the comments on Taylor, Mick you know what to do!

  • Paulo on May 17, 2014, 8:19 GMT

    Taylor is one of very few batsmen whose record suggests he should play all 3 formats for England. That he plays none of them is beyond me.

    He hasn't started this county season that well so he'll probably be kept waiting longer. don't forget he was in the Ashes squad for the Old Trafford test. Also he had an outstanding List A season last year.

    Mick Newell England selector benefitting from no ENGLAND call ups

  • John on May 17, 2014, 3:51 GMT

    This game illustrated the problem with many T20 games. After 4 overs of the Lancashire innings it was evident which side was going to win and the game held no real interest for an observer other than a rabid Notts fan. It's lucky the game was played at Trent Bridge, because at least the home crowd got the result they wanted.

    I am mystified at why Taylor, after 2 tests in 2012 at age 22, hasn't been chosen for England again. Only Ballance among the young England hopefuls has a better FC record. The only good thing is that when he does make it back (and he will) he'll be a more experienced cricketer and better able to handle the pressure.

  • Paul on May 16, 2014, 23:53 GMT

    If only James Taylor had remained with Leics in Div.2, he would now be an England regular, alongside all the other men who have taken their clubs into Div.2, such as Bopara, Carberry and Moeen Ali.

    Make the move into Div. 1, as Taylor did with Notts, and the inevitable difficulties you face playing proper cricket will disqualify you in the eyes of the selectors.

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