Edwards And Wessels Set Up Emphatic Win

Match Report | 20th March 2012

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An aggressive innings of 94 from opener Neil Edwards, backed up by 64 from Riki Wessels, paved the way for Notts Outlaws to complete a 64-run victory over Yorkshire at Pickwick Cricket Club, Barbados.

Put in to bat, the Outlaws made a healthy 275-6 from their 40 overs and then bowled Yorkshire out for 211, a performance that found favour with Mick Newell.

“I asked the top order to try and take some responsibility for putting a decent score on the board and they did that,” said Newell.

“It was nice to see Neil hitting the ball as cleanly as that and it provided the opportunity for Riki and Scott Elstone to kick-on through the power-play.”

Once again, the side had a good day with the ball and in the outfield. “I thought we just bowled a fraction too short early on,” said Newell.

“But after then we adjusted our lengths well and once more, I thought the spinners White and Elstone were excellent. I’m really satisfied with the overall performance today.”

It’s not often at the toss that you’ll hear a skipper call “Fish” but that’s what happened as Andrew Gale flicked the Barbados Dollar coin into the air – sadly for Chris Read, it came down as a Head and Notts were asked to bat first.

Neil Edwards and Karl Turner began cautiously against the new ball pairing of Ajmal Shahzad and Moin Ashraf but were soon gifted some easy runs.

In the 5th over Ashraf over-stepped, giving a no-ball and a free hit to Notts. His next delivery flew past the out-stretched bat of Turner and evaded Jonny Bairstow, on its way for four byes.

The same bowler did make the breakthrough in his next over, as Turner (10) this time edged to the ‘keeper.

It took until the 13th over for a boundary to come from the bat, as James Taylor slashed Steven Patterson through the offside. Prior to that point the lengthy, uneven outfield had slowed up a couple of shots that appeared to be destined for the pickets.

Edwards decided that the aerial route was a better strategy for increasing the run-rate. He launched a vicious assault upon the bowling of Adil Rashid. Four times in just a couple of overs the left-hander despatched the leg-spinner high over the midwicket ropes.

Assertive shot-play brought up his fifty (85 mins 61 balls 1x4 4x6), celebrated by lofting Patterson away for the biggest of his maximums.

After a stand of 87 for the second wicket, Yorkshire struck again. James Taylor (28) was the man to fall, reverse-sweeping Rashid to short fine-leg.

Edwards was then dropped by Adam Lyth off Root on 58 at long on but found more distance later in the same over to complete his sixth ‘big one’ of the innings.

Powering on, the opener seemed set for his first three score for Notts but was denied a well-deserved century when he selflessly heaved at one from Rashid and was bowled when six runs short.

Wessels took up the attack with relish – his third six brought up the 200 and further clean, violent hitting sped him to a fifty of his own (42 balls 52 mins 3x4 3x6), reached with a straight drive off Ashraf.

There appeared little that Yorkshire could do to stem the flow of runs from Riki’s bat until a mesmeric catch abruptly terminated his innings.

A huge blow off Shahzad appeared to be sailing over the long-on rope until Lyth, with athletic brilliance, caught the catch high above his head, flicked it back into the field of play and lunged forward to complete the dismissal.

Scott Elstone (37) made useful middle-order runs for the second match running but fell, along with Paul Franks (1), in the late scramble for runs. Read (15 not out) and White (1 not out) were undefeated as the innings drew to a close.

After a pleasant lunch shared by players and spectators alike in the cosiness of the pavilion, Yorkshire started their innings in sticky, humid conditions. Gale, a prolific scorer in championship cricket against Notts recently, made 18 before pulling Luke Fletcher to Turner at deep midwicket.

Taylor left the field as a precaution, after tweaking a hamstring, providing Strength and Conditioning Coach Kevin Paxton with a couple of hours of fielding for the first team. (Other squad players were getting useful match practice elsewhere.)

Joe Sayers advanced to a patient fifty but lost his second partner, Lyth (18) to an lbw decision given in favour of Graeme White.

The Tykes’ 100 came up in the 20th over and was immediately followed by Bairstow’s first shot of intent – a towering six which crashed onto the corrugated pavilion roof.

Both Sayers and Bairstow had made centuries on this ground earlier in the week, as the entire Yorkshire squad held an intensive 2-day fixture amongst themselves.

Sayers made 65 this time before lofting White to Turner in the deep and with 14 overs to go, 140 were still needed – at ten runs per over.

That seemed a stiff target once Bairstow (38) had been given out lbw to the off-spin of Elstone and then Fletcher caught and bowled Gary Ballance (7).

A lovely pick up and throw from Riki Wessels ran out Joe Root (22), Andy Carter clean-bowled Ajmal Shahzad (2) and a direct hit from White found Rashid (12) also short of his ground.

The end came with 7 balls of the match remaining as Ashraf chipped Carter into the hands of Elstone at point.

There was further joy in a match featuring other squad members. Steven Mullaney skippered a combined Notts & Yorks XI to victory in a match at Carlton CC, against a combined Warwicks & Derbyshire team. Ben Phillips hit 77 in the win, after Jake Ball had taken three wickets to dismiss their opponents for 263, with the Bears’ Paul Best scoring a century.

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