Notts v Warwickshire, Royal London Cup, Trent Bridge

Notts hold nerve after Hales ton

Press Association

August 20, 2014

Comments: 11 | Text size: A | A

Nottinghamshire 306 for 9 (Hales 104, Taylor 62) beat Warwickshire 302 for 7 (Trott 108, Ambrose 98, Fletcher 4-44) by one wicket

Alex Hales smashed a century, Middlesex v Nottinghamshire, Royal London Cup, Group B, Lord's, August 14, 2014
Another hundred for Alex Hales set Nottinghamshire on their way but it became a nervy affair © Getty Images

An Alex Hales century and a four from the final ball of the match from Luke Fletcher helped Nottinghamshire secure a one-wicket Royal London Cup victory over Warwickshire at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.

Warwickshire, thanks to Jonathan Trott's century and Tim Ambrose's 98, posted 302 for 7 from their 50 overs, and Nottinghamshire needed century knock from England new-boy Hales to wrap up victory at the death.

The outcome means that both sides now qualify for the quarter-finals, although the win means that Nottinghamshire will have home advantage in their last-eight match, whereas Warwickshire will have to travel.

Trott scored 108 from 121 balls with 11 fours, and Ambrose scored 12 fours as he fell just two runs short of a ton, as the pair added 176 for the third wicket for Warwickshire.

Fletcher, with career best one-day figures of 4 for 44, was the only member of the home attack to maintain a modicum of control and his final burst accounted for both members of the huge stand.

Nottinghamshire replied with a centurion of their own as Hales scored 104 from 90 balls with 12 fours and three sixes, sharing in a huge third-wicket stand as he and James Taylor, who made 62, added 138 together.

However, the match hinged on the final delivery of the evening. With the scores tied, Fletcher followed up his performance with the ball by driving Oliver Hannon-Dalby for the winning boundary, to the delight of the majority of the 4,000 crowd.

Trott and Ambrose had joined forces at 32 for 2 after Warwickshire had elected to bat first. Clipping his first ball away for a majestic four, Trott immediately looked in good touch as the partnership quickly gathered momentum.

Both players had reprieves though. On 12 Ambrose appeared to have nicked Ajmal Shahzad behind. Nottinghamshire celebrated collectively but the batsman remained rooted and umpire Neil Bainton awarded in his favour.

Trott's 'life' was more clear-cut. On 36 he clipped James Franklin to Samit Patel, in the short midwicket position but the chance went begging.

Ambrose fell during the batting Powerplay, yorked by Fletcher but Trott advanced to his 17th one-day century shortly afterwards, arriving at the landmark from 115 balls with 10 fours.

A catch at deep midwicket eventually accounted Trott and Fletcher grabbed his fourth wicket thanks to a smart piece of wicketkeeping as Chris Read stumped Rikki Clarke, standing up to the pace bowler.

Michael Lumb lit up the start of Nottinghamshire's reply, hitting a punishing 36 from just 21 balls before playing on to his stumps off Clarke. The same bowler then had Steven Mullaney caught behind, enabling Taylor to join Hales at the crease. Richard Jones replaced the opening bowlers and let a beamer slip towards Hales at the start of the 13th over, an over that eventually cost 16.

Taylor hit Recordo Gordon into the Fox Road Stand for the first six of the evening just before Hales reached his 50 and the opener celebrated by hitting both Richard Jones and Ateeq Javid for maximums of his own.

Hales purple patch of form took him to his third century of this season's tournament and his fourth in all competitions in the last two weeks. An unlucky deflection from his back pad onto the stumps saw off the opener, gifting Gordon a fortunate wicket but it gave the visitors a massive way back into the contest.

Taylor fell for 62 and Nottinghamshire then lost three further wickets in the batting Powerplay before the equation came down to 22 needed from the last two overs.

Gordon thought he had bowled Shahzad but replays showed that a no ball had been delivered and the resultant decision was costly as 18 came from the penultimate over. Once Shahzad had been run out it was left to Fletcher to score the winning runs to take Nottinghamshire through.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by markatnotts on (August 21, 2014, 16:19 GMT)

@Julian Bishop, so when your first argument fell down - players who had only played for Warwicks you changed your logic to also include players who were out of contract at their previous county. Well that applies to many of the Notts players you clearly are not happy about like Shazhad, Lumb, Wessels etc. Oh and regards Warwicks, Clarke was at Derbys half way through one season and moved! With regards to James Taylor you failed to 'poach' him as you put it, despite offering more money for his service than Notts did, so that failure wasn't for want of trying!

Posted by   on (August 21, 2014, 13:41 GMT)

@ Richard Lane - Trott came to this country to play international cricket and asked for a trial at Warwickshire - South African he may have been but he was not actively recruited. Ambrose asked to leave Sussex and was a free agent, as was Laurie Evans at Surrey. Porterfield asked to leave Gloucestershire - Bell and Woakes are home grown! Clarke had left Derbyshire before joining Warwickshire, so again was a free agent - as was Chopra The only players recruited from other counties in recent years have been Chris Wright - initially on loan, as Essex did not rate him, and Richard Jones from Worcestershire - again initially on loan. He was only signed after he was out of contract, as was Hannon-Dalby. Unlike Notts we DO NOT poach other teams players!

Posted by ATC1810 on (August 21, 2014, 12:56 GMT)

Why did Rikki Clarke not bowl his remaining overs at the death ahead of the inexperienced Recordo Gordon? Clarke hadn't bowled that well earlier on in the innings but I'd still have backed him to bowl under pressure at the death. I hope he hasn't picked up some injury that will rule him out of the t20 finals day on Saturday.

Posted by landl47 on (August 21, 2014, 12:38 GMT)

Nice to see Hales' form continuing. I hope he's still playing well on Monday!

@jmcilhinney: my guess would be that Hales will open with Cook, with Bell or Ballance at #3, followed by Root and Morgan. Buttler and one of the all-rounders will bat #6 and #7, another all-rounder at 8 and the last 3 will be Tredwell, Finn/Gurney and Anderson. They might opt to go with Moeen/Root as the 5th bowler and leave Tredwell out- higher risk, but Moeen is a much better bat and seems to have the wood on India at the moment.

Having picked Hales in this kind of form, I think he has to play, which likely leaves one of the batsmen out. My choice would have been Cook, but it seems he will play so either Bell or Ballance will draw the short straw.

Posted by   on (August 21, 2014, 12:33 GMT)

Nine of the eleven members of the Warwickshire side yesterday were recruited from other counties (or countries). Only Gordon and Javid were not. The Notts side included eight players recruited from other first class counties. Patel, Hales and Fletcher have not played elsewhere.

Posted by   on (August 21, 2014, 10:36 GMT)

All counties recruit from other counties - Warwickshire from Essex (Knight, Chopra, Wright), but Notts seem to be masters of poaching all available talent from particularly Leics and Northants. What price David Willey being the next when Northants relegation is confirmed? At any one time there is only two or three players that Notts have developed through their cricket school playing in the first team - you trying to be the Surrey of the Midlands?

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (August 21, 2014, 5:37 GMT)

Tense stuff but, at least until the dismissal of Ajmal Shazad, Notts seemed to have just enough in hand. When Shazad fell it was impossible to guess how it might finish. Quite a game! Absolutely uncertain until the last ball.

Good to see Jonathon Trott back and playing well. Pity that he was trumped by Alex Hales, but what a talent this man is. If he has any kind of winter the pressure to put him straight into the Test side is just going to become unstoppable.

Posted by Jezinho on (August 21, 2014, 5:07 GMT)

@Julian Bishop - I suspect it is because Bell and Woakes are on central contracts (I think Woakes has earned sufficient points this year?), whereas Hales is only on an incremental contract.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 21, 2014, 1:35 GMT)

@Julian Bishop on (August 20, 2014, 22:32 GMT), that's a very good point that I wasn't aware of. I can only assume that it's because Bell and Woakes have both been playing Test cricket prior to this while Hales and Gurney haven't. Whether or not that's a legitimate reason is a different question but I'd say that that's the motivation.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 20, 2014, 23:44 GMT)

Hales is undoubtedly the form man in England one-day cricket at the moment and it would be a travesty if he didn't make the ODI team. It will be interesting to see, if he does play, what the England batting order is, i.e. whether Hales opens or they play him lower down.

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