Norwich Union League: Nottinghamshire v Northamptonshire at Nottingham, 19 Aug 2001|
BICKNELL TON PAVES WAY FOR EASY WINDarren Bicknell’s sixth NCL century set the platform for Notts to claim their first home victory over Northants in six meetings.
The visitors were set a revised D/L total of 281 from 42 overs which was further reduced later another stoppage. Without ever threatening to get close to their target they were restricted to 185 all out and remain deep in relegation territory.
The winning margin for the Outlaws was 82 runs (under D/L), giving them their first win in five matches and lifting them up to fourth in the table.
After a tea interval of high farce - when the Steelbacks' target was amended several times - the visitors began their reply with Mike Hussey and Matt Cassar occupying the crease. Dangerman Hussey was quickly removed, snicking Greg Smith to Greg Blewett at first slip.
Two more wickets fell cheaply as the innings failed to gather any early momentum. Russell Warren and Tony Penberthy were both caught behind by Chris Read to give wickets to Nadeem Malik and former Northants player Richard Logan.
Graeme Swann got off the mark with an all-run four – John Morris doing the chasing to the longest boundary – but didn’t add to it before playing around a straight one from Malik.
Alec Swann committed cricketing suicide by trying to pinch a quick single to Blewett at mid-wicket but was still a yard short as Pietersen took the return and whipped off the bails.
With the game well out of their reach Northants opted for batting practice but Kevin Innes couldn’t hang around for long before being bowled on the back foot by Pietersen.
Cassar, who had opened on his first appearance of the season, batted patiently to record a half-century (104mins 70 balls 5x4s) but it didn’t arrive until the 29th over.
He added eight more before losing his leg stump in Logan’s first over from the Radcliffe Road End. A smart piece of work from Chris Read ran out Paul Taylor to reduce the total to a hopeless 143-8.
Thirty more runs were added before rain, in the 35th over, again interrupted play. After the briefest of intermissions the players were sent back out with Northants requiring a further 94 runs from 2.2 overs with just two wickets in hand!
Michael Strong went immediately upon the re-start and then there was an historic moment as Paul Johnson picked up his first wicket in 20 years of one-day matches for Notts when he bowled Jason Brown. David Ripley remained not out on 40.
Earlier, a heavy shower had curtailed the Outlaws innings with 16 deliveries still to be bowled. The home side had crashed 28 boundaries and six sixes in amassing 267-6 with skipper Darren Bicknell hitting 115 and sharing in a stand of 166 with Greg Blewett, who made 71.
Under the Duckworth-Lewis formula, Northants had to score 281 for victory off 42 overs.
John Morris opened with Bicknell and provided the first incident of note as he lofted Paul Taylor into the Radcliffe Road Stand in just the fourth over. His partner then hit successive offside boundaries off Michael Strong.
On reaching 21 Bicknell reached 4,000 runs in the competition. Morris clubbed Taylor for a second six as he pulled him over the Parr Stand and into the Bridgford Road. The bowler soon exacted his revenge as Morris’s delightful cameo ended on 37, in the tenth over, when he missed with an ugly swipe and lost his off peg.
Bicknell went on to complete his sixth half-century (68 mins 63 balls 8x4s) in 11 NCL innings this season with a single in the 17th over which also brought up the Outlaws 100. The Notts skipper dominated his second-wicket stand with Greg Blewett and advanced to his highest score in the League this season when he passed 79.
Blewett looked out of sorts for a time but then took ten off an over from Innes to move into the 30s. His cover boundary off Strong brought up the century partnership in just 18 overs and he celebrated by launching Jason Brown into the pavilion for the third six of the day. Bicknell hit the fourth, sweeping Graeme Swann into the Parr Stand as the sixth Steelbacks bowler also found it difficult to stem the flow of runs.
A drive through cover took Blewett to his 3rd NCL 50 of the season (79 mins 61 balls 8x4s 1x6) and the applause had barely died before Bicknell reached his hundred (122 mins 110 balls 11x4s 1x6). It was his sixth in the competition and second for Notts. Another six from him off Swann brought up the 150 partnership and to emphasise how well he was seeing the ball he then reverse swept the same bowler for four.
Blewett had been totally outscored and outshone by his captain but walloped his second six off Kevin Innes. The stand had been worth 166 in 26 overs when Bicknell was bowled by Innes trying to slog him out of the ground again.
Innes also removed Blewett in his next over thanks to a fine low catch at point by Mike Hussey. Paul Johnson began his innings needing just 17 to break Derek Randall’s aggregate as highest Notts run scorer in the competition but he’d only made five when he holed out to Taylor at square leg off Penberthy.
Chris Read hit a full toss straight back to give Innes his third wicket and when Kevin Pietersen fell for 12, caught superbly by Matt Cassar, Notts had lost five wickets in as many overs.
Guy Welton and Gareth Clough had added ten for the seventh wicket when a heavy shower forced the players from the field.
Date-stamped : 19 Aug2001 - 22:30