Thursday, 8 August 2013


lights are out at Trent Bridge

In the aftermath of Notts Outlaws' T20 Quarter-final against Essex, here's my twenty-point summation of their campaign: 

(1) They won the group. [Partridge Voice] Darren and Dwayne Bravo!

(2) For the third year running they have a home quarter-final. Zummerzzzet came storming round the final bend of 2011’s game, Jos Buttler finding angles that Euclid didn’t know existed, then Neil McKenzie and his cornucopia of superstitions guided Hampshire over the line last year. LL&L predicts QFIII will be third time lucky.

(3) The group began with a victory over feeder club Leicestershire, who were outfoxed by Leicester-born Samit Patel’s economical 4-0-26-1 before muscley stuff from Lumb and Hussey sent the visitors back to Grace Road wondering who the next player they could develop for the Outlaws might be. Smart money is on Shiv Thakor.

(4) Having started by winning by seven wickets with 2.2 overs to spare, Notts brazenly/unwittingly revealed the details of their strategy by beating Lancashire by six wickets with 2.2 overs to spare. Immediately, four-figure sums were being laid – for instance, I bet the four-figure sum of £10.43 – on a five-wicket win with 2.2 overs to spare against Leicestershire’s fellow East Midlands second-class citizens Derbyshire

(5) …which didn’t happen, throwing patternologists into paroxysms of confusion. It was six wickets. With 2.3 overs to spare. I sat up all night trying to work things out…  

(6) Meanwhile – well, back in the previous game – the chants of Ohhh Lanky-Lanky, Lanky-Lanky-Lanky-Lanky Lancashire (to the tune of ‘Ohhh Jimmy-Jimmy, Jimmy-Jimmy-Jimmy-Jimmy Anderson’) ended with 2.2 overs of the game gone, when it became apparent they were turd…

(7) …Apart from Mitch McLenaghan, that is, who (probably) picked up a magnum of Veuve Clicquot champagne, or some shit like that, for his Man-of-the-Match-winning – but not matchwinning – performance of 5 for 29. He was the best Kiwi on show, too, as Ian Butler went for 10 an over. And he was also the man who most looked like a cross between a rugby flanker and a minor character in Mad Men. There was no magnum of Veuve Clicquot champagne for that, however.

(8) The following day the Outlaws set aside their englobement in the earth-shatteringly important business of what type of sprog would emerge from the womb of the sister of that bird who the tabloids think has a nice arse and out into a life of taxpayer-funded privilege to go to Durham. Michael Lumb spanked 14 fours and 3 sixes in his 96. Back-to-back MoMs for the housewives’ favourite.

(9) With four successful chases out of four, Notts’ T20 skipper David Hussey cost them the game by losing the toss at Grace Road, allowing their academy side, ‘Leicestershire’, to beat them by … [cue Twilight Zone theme tune] … seven wickets with 2.2 overs to spare. Four-figure sums…

(10) In said game, future Notts bits-and-pieces spinner Shiv Thakor bowled Samit Patel, the incumbent slightly-better-than-part-time tweaker, then cannily didn’t dismiss James Taylor, who laboured to 33 not out from 32 balls. Reports that Sigmund Freud, from the Beyond, asserted that guilt feelings were behind the innings cannot be confirmed.

(11) Next up was a ding-dong humdinger against Durham at the Bridge. They won off the last ball. It was exciting. Because it went to the last ball.

(12) Next stop was Leedsoh, Leeeeds – who, seeing patterns in Notts results (bat second, won ‘em all; bat first, lost ‘em all), shoved ‘em in. Natch. Approximately thousands of Yarkshire supporters went oop t’cricket to put on ostentatious displays of smugness while supping the best ale in the country. But they lost the game and probably went home and took it out on their nearest and dearest…*

(13) They might have said, “I’m sorry I’ve got to batter you, kids, but Patel with 46 and Hussey’s 52 not out set us a stiff target of 156 that we couldn’t chase down, despite being well placed at 73 for 1 at the halfway stage, so happen I’m gonna have to take us frustrations out on thee. Hic.”*

(14) Notts’ next game was on the telly. D********e were the opponents. Notts did not win. It was a nine-over game. Some of the kids got bored because of the boring middle overs. It wasn’t pretty.

(15) The rain that fell that night could not wash the pain from my soul. Oh Notts, how could you let it happen? How?!

(16) So, having lost three out of four, Notts finished with home fixtures against the two Roses counties. Yarkshire had sobered up enough to drive down the M1 but not enough to drive through the covers. Pyrah’s technique brought late pyrotechnics – badoom, tish – but it was never going to be enough. Ever.

(17) Al Exhales breathed a sigh of relief (The Sun [probably]) with 62 not out, including five maximums pongoed into the stands. His brother Colin was delighted.

(18) And Hales took this form into the ‘Who’ll get the home QF?’ showdown with Ohhh Lanky-Lanky, Lanky-Lanky-Lanky-Lanky Lancashire, smashing 82 as Notts – GG White snaffling 5-22 – romped to victory and a magnum of Veuve Clicquot champagne-infested series of dreams.

(19) For the third year running they blew a home quarter-final. This one, against Essex, wasn’t even close. Why? A lack of quality spin; lack of an effective sixth bowler, with Wessels preferred to Mullaney (yet not used when he’s most effective, in the power play); front-loaded power-hitters (Hales, Lumb); flaky batting – and that’s politely avoiding the ‘c’ word (not that one) – from international players in Hales, Taylor and Patel; and possibly some mental scarring.

(20) Oh, and the opposition were excellent, particularly the savagery of Holland’s finest, Ryan ten Doeschate. The winner, though, was crickeeeeet. Cricket and Essex. Mainly Essex.

* This did not happen anywhere in Yorkshire that night. This is lazy stereotyping. Some of my best friends are Yorkshiremen.


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