Nottinghamshire 169 for 4 (Clarke 77) beat Lancashire 169 for 4 (Patel 2-19) by six wickets

A destructive innings of 77 from Joe Clarke maintained Notts Outlaws' unbeaten start to the Vitality Blast competition and strengthened their lead at the top of the North Group.

Clarke scored his runs from only 36 balls as the Outlaws defeated Lancashire Lightning by six wickets at Trent Bridge.

The right-hander hit five sixes and seven fours to speed Notts towards their pursuit of 168, eventually achieved with 18 balls remaining.

Lancashire had earlier made 167 for 5, with Steven Croft top-scoring for 37, with three other players also passing 30. Samit Patel, with two for 19, was the pick of the home attack.

Clarke began this competition with an unbeaten century against Durham and added a further hundred in the Bob Willis Trophy match against the same opposition, which ended on Wednesday.

His eye clearly still in, he set about the Lancashire attack after arriving at the crease in the first over, following Chris Nash's cheap departure.

Danny Lamb felt the full force of Clarke's power-hitting, going for 27 in the sixth over as Notts ended the powerplay on 74 for 1.

Alex Hales was almost the silent partner, making just 19, as their second-wicket stand stretched to 82 from 42 balls, at which point Liam Livingstone turned a sharp leg-spinner into the stumps of the former England international.

Having brought up his 50 from only 18 deliveries, with six fours and four sixes, Clarke cleared the ropes once more before hitting Livingstone into the hands of sub fielder Rob Jones.

Ben Duckett fell to Matt Parkinson for 18 but the hosts romped to victory thanks to more punishing batting, as Tom Moores and Dan Christian added 35 from only 21 balls to guarantee the win.

Moores hit three sixes in an unbeaten 31, leaving Christian to hit Hartley for the winning boundary, as he finished on 20 not out from just 13 deliveries.

Alex Davies and Livingstone got Lancashire off to a blistering start after the visitors had been invited to bat first by Christian, the Notts captain. The opening three overs produced 38 runs, including a huge six over square leg by Livingstone.

Steven Mullaney needed two attempts to catch Davies at midwicket for 18 off Christian but the opener was soon back in the middle, acting as a runner for Keaton Jennings, who pulled up injured at the end of the eighth over.

Both Livingstone and Jennings then fell to Samit Patel, with each making batsman making 33. Ball's well-judged boundary catch to dismiss Jennings reduced the Red Rose to 101 for three in the thirteenth over.

Steven Croft hit Steven Mullaney over the ropes before falling in the penultimate over and Dane Vilas fell in the last, yorked by Luke Fletcher

On a good batting strip, against a side chock-full of confidence in this format, the eventual target didn't seem large enough and Notts proved that convincingly to win their eighth consecutive Blast game at Trent Bridge against Lancashire.

Notts move on to 10 points and sit clear at the top of the group, whilst Lancashire's first defeat leaves them on eight points.

Both sides are swiftly back in action, with the Outlaws facing Derbyshire at Trent Bridge on Sunday and Lancashire play Yorkshire at Emerald Headingley 24 hours later.