Andrew Hall seals thrilling tie
Northamptonshire 121 for 7 tied with Nottinghamshire 121
A thrilling encounter saw North Group leaders Nottinghamshire Outlaws held to a tie as Northamptonshire Steelbacks captain Andrew Hall produced the goods with bat and ball. After finishing unbeaten on 40 in the Northants innings of 121 for 7, with Alex Wakely top-scoring with 43, Hall showed all of his experience to deny the hosts with a nerveless final over.
Needing only five runs from the last six balls, Hall had Notts' top scorer Steven Mullaney caught on the boundary for 53 before conceding four thanks to Graeme White's paddle sweep. But with the scores level the former South Africa international allrounder produced two perfect yorkers to finish, with Darren Pattinson and White run out attempting to scramble the winning runs.
That ruined a memorable match for fast bowler Pattinson, who began the contest with a wicket maiden on his way to career-best figures of 4 for 19 as Notts restricted the visitors to just 10 boundaries throughout their innings.
Only three Northants batsmen reached double figures in the face of disciplined and probing bowling from the Notts attack, with all but overseas quick Dirk Nannes conceding less than a run a ball. The Steelbacks' total would have been far worse but for the final over, which saw Nannes hit for 15 runs, including three fours.
Nevertheless, the total appeared an easy one for Notts, who had won six of their opening seven matches thanks in the main to the powerful strokeplay of Alex Hales, Ali Brown, Samit Patel and David Hussey.
But with Chaminda Vaas removing the first three for a combined total of eight and Hall bowling Hussey for two off an inside edge, Notts were in deep trouble at the end of the powerplay overs on 23 for 4.
Matt Wood batted with purpose in making 41 from 32 balls with five fours, adding 55 for the fifth wicket with Mullaney before being caught at deep cover off James Middlebrook. That put the pressure on the Notts tail and despite Mullaney's pulled four off Vaas' last over leaving the hosts requiring less than a run a ball, Hall had the final say in a gripping finish.