Warwickshire had won four successive games. But when it came to the most important one, which was the final of the NatWest t20 Blast, they were outdone by a very plucky Nottinghamshire on Saturday (September 2), who were crowned winners of the NatWest t20 Blast 2017 after a 22-run win at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Nottinghamshire were the winners of the Royal One-Day Cup earlier in the year. And now, have their second title in the year.
Chasing a lofty 191, Warwickshire were set back early, losing quick wickets up front. After being reduced to 36 for 3 in the sixth over, they weren’t able to recover and succumbed eventually. That both teams who had opted to bat in the semifinals were eventual winners, made little difference to Warwickshire, who decided to bowl first.
They would’ve been might pleased with the choice too when Chris Woakes levied a triple strike on Nottinghamshire early on who were reeling at 30 for 3, with their top-scorers Alex Hales (7) and Riki Wessles (19) back in the shed. Wessles, who fell two short of his second fifty of the tournament in the semifinal, finished as the second-highest run-scorer with 559 runs in 16 matches, averaging 43.00. Amd with Tom Moores falling for a three-ball duck, Nottinghamshire were in trouble with the possibility of finishing with a below-par score with their top three gone.
Brendan Taylor and Samit Patel were faced with the task of stabilising the innings, and although the run-rate hovered around the six-run mark, the pair stayed in, bided their time and let loose towards the end adding as many as 69 in the last five.
Taylor fell for 65 off 49 balls in the penultimate over, while Patel was unbeaten on 64 off 42 balls – a knock that comprised of four boundaries and as many sixes, after the pair added 132 for the fourth wicket. Daniel Christian came in after Taylor’s dismissal for a very handy cameo of 8-ball 24 that took Nottinghamshire to a strong total despite Woakes’s three-wicket return.
Harry Gurney struck early as Warwickshire lost three quick wickets which pegged them back. Ed Pollock, who played a vital role in the semifinal with a half-century, was run-out for 14 courtesy Patel. Sam Hain kept them in the chase with a resistant 44-ball 72, but wickets falling at regular intervals didn’t help their cause. Colin de Grandhomme (27) and Aaron Thomason (26) offered some resistance towards the end, but Warwickshire were behind the required run-rate throughout their innings, eventually falling well-short with Gurney returning 4 for 17.
In their 20 overs, Nottinghamshire only conceded two extras, with one leg bye and one wide; their discipline being the key factor in them pulling off a brilliant win for their maiden title.
Joe Denly from Kent finished as the top run-getter with 567 runs in 14 games, while Clint McKay from Leicestershire had the most wickets with 23, with Jake Ball, who picked up two on the night, a close second with 22.
Brief scores: Nottinghamshire 190/4 in 20 overs (Brendan Taylor 65, Samit Patel 64*; Chris Woakes 3-29) beat Warwickshire 168/8 in 20 overs (Sam Hain 72; Harry Gurney 4-17) by 22 runs.