Joe Clarke, Matthew Montgomery fifties steer Notts past Derbyshire
Wayne Madsen, Luis Reece looked to have set up Falcons for a bumper total with 112-run stand
ECB Reporters Network
Nottinghamshire 182 for 6 (Clarke 68, Montgomery 51) beat Derbyshire 178 for 6 (Madsen 61, Reece 53) by four wickets
Joe Clarke blasted 68 from 29 balls on his 27th birthday before Matthew Montgomery revealed more evidence of why Nottinghamshire rate him so highly with a high-quality 51 as the Outlaws launched their Vitality Blast season with a four-wicket victory over neighbours Derbyshire Falcons.
South Africa-born Montgomery, who made 177 against Essex in the LV= Insurance County Championship last week, was making his county debut in the 20-over format and took to it impressively as the Outlaws eased home with 18 balls to spare despite Zak Chappell's 2 for 29 against his former team and George Scrimshaw taking three late wickets in five balls.
Half-centuries by Wayne Madsen and Luis Reece in a second-wicket stand worth 112 in under 10 overs had seemed to set up the Falcons for a bumper total as they sought to win at Trent Bridge for the first time in 10 years but the Outlaws fought back well to restrict them to 178 for 6.
There were debut wickets for quicks Shaheen Shah Afridi and Conor McKerr - on loan from Surrey with three senior Outlaws bowlers out injured - while skipper Steven Mullaney took 2 for 37.
The Falcons lost Pakistan batter Haider Ali to ex-Derbyshire quick McKerr's first legitimate ball in an Outlaws shirt when a loose drive saw him caught at third but with Madsen smashing 36 from his first 18 balls it turned into a decent powerplay for the visitors, who were 56 for 1 after six having elected to bat first.
Madsen looked in superb touch from the start, following three consecutive fours against the off-spin of Matt Carter - also celebrating his 27th birthday - with a couple off Samit Patel's left-arm spin before bringing McKerr back down to earth with an effortless pick-up for the night's first six.
Reece caught the mood, despatching Patel and Mullaney over the ropes with the Outlaws unable to find a way to stem the runs as Madsen's ninth four took him to a 26-ball half-century and the Falcons reached halfway at 102 for 1.
The two took a six each off Mullaney but when Madsen slapped the last ball of the same over into the hands of extra cover it sparked an Outlaws fightback that saw Reece hole out to long-off - a wicket on Blast debut for Montgomery - and Luis du Plooy bowled behind his legs as 118 for 1 became 134 for 4.
Tom Moores, in his first action for six weeks after breaking a finger, pulled off a sharp stumping to remove Anuj Dal and Afridi claimed his first Outlaws scalp as Aneurin Donald missed an attempted ramp, the second half of the innings going in favour of the home side, with 76 runs added for five wickets lost.
Needing nine per over, the Outlaws raced to 78 for 1 from the powerplay, 26 off them in a single over of Mark Watt's left-arm spin as Clarke smashed five fours and a six, completing a 23-ball half-century along the way, Alex Hales - wearing number three on his back after Afridi claimed his regular 10 - the solitary casualty as he skied Chappell to backward point.
The home side's progress was checked when Clarke was pinned leg before by a Chappell yorker that avenged a huge hit over long-off earlier in the over, but Montgomery joined another debutant - the New Zealand international Colin Munro - in adding 60 in 34 balls for the third wicket to bring the requirement down to 32 in 45 balls.
Munro fell when he scooped Zaman Khan to long leg, Montgomery departing in similar fashion after hitting six fours and a six in his 29-ball innings as Scrimshaw gained some consolation for an otherwise expensive evening by taking three wickets in the same over as Mullaney and Moores were dismissed before Samit Patel scrambled the winning runs.