Patel-Taylor stand overcomes Essex
Nottinghamshire 271 for 3 (Patel 124*, Tayor 94*) beat Essex 268 for 8 (Ryder 81*, Pettini 61) by seven wickets
Samit Patel and James Taylor guided Nottinghamshire to a seven-wicket victory over Essex in the Royal London Cup contest at a sold-out Chelmsford following an unbroken 215-run stand. The fourth-wicket partnership, Patel contributing 124 off 112 balls and Taylor 94 off the same amount of deliveries, enabled the visitors to chase down a 269 victory target with eight balls to spare.
New Zealand allrounder Jesse Ryder had earlier compiled an unbeaten 81 in Essex's 268 for 8, which looked like being enough when Notts slipped to 56 for 3 in the 14th over.
Riki Wessels and Alex Hales put on 42 for the opening wicket but the former upper-cut David Masters to Graham Napier on the third man boundary for 21 in the 10th over. Dangerman Hales was bowled by Graham Napier after making 28, while Brendan Taylor was out for a golden duck after edging Masters behind to leave Essex well placed.
However, Patel and Taylor were able to eschew any risks while keeping the scoreboard ticking over smoothly to thwart the hosts. This was due to their prowess of being able to push the ball confidently into the gaps and wait for the wayward delivery before opening their shoulders to find the boundary.
Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate continually juggled his bowlers in a bid to halt their progress - but it was to no avail. Patel was the first to his half-century off 54 balls while Taylor reached the landmark off 67 deliveries. Patel brought up his third List A hundred in the 44th over off 96 balls, with 10 fours, and it was fitting he confirmed victory with his first six in the scheduled penultimate over.
Essex had been put into bat and the innings had been placed on a solid foundation by Mark Pettini and Tom Westley. They shared in an opening stand of 80 in 16 overs before Westley, having made 38, was trapped lbw by Patel.
Pettini, who excelled with some fine square drives, went on to make 61 from 77 deliveries but was eventually undone by an Imran Tahir googly as he attempted to cut the legspinner - who then removed Ravi Bopara for 28 with a similar delivery.
Ryder and Ryan ten Doeschate shared a fourth-wicket stand of 61, while Napier struck two sixes in a breezy 27 from 18 balls before he was caught in the deep off Jake Ball. Tahir, easily the pick of the Outlaws attack with his teasing flight and variation, finished with 2 for 45 from his 10 overs while Ball and Steven Mullaney picked up two wickets each.
Speaking afterwards about the match-winning innings from Taylor and Patel, Nottinghamshire coaching consultant Peter Moores said: "They are batsmen who can adapt to all forms of cricket and they confirmed just what good players they are. They didn't panic after we lost those three early wickets and displayed a range of strokes to go with their ability."
Ten Doeschate paid credit to Taylor and Patel, adding: "We did all we could to find a way to end their partnership but they batted superbly and showed their class. We've now lost two matches in succession and need to get back to winning ways soon if we are to reach the quarter-finals."