Cairns blasts Outlaws to victory

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Veteran New Zealander Chris Cairns hit his maiden Twenty20 half-century to help Nottinghamshire return to the top of the North Division with a five-wicket victory over Leicestershire.

The 38-year-old, who came out of retirement to sign for his sixth spell at Trent Bridge as a Kolpak player for the competition, hit six fours from 40 balls as Notts reached a target of 150 with two balls to spare.

He put on 63 with Outlaws captain Chris Read (29 not out) with Mark Ealham hitting the winning runs off James Allenby.

HD Ackerman top-scored for Leicestershire in their total of 149 for seven with 55 off 45 balls, hitting six fours in his third consecutive half-century.

Notts appeared in trouble at the start of the chase after seeing Adam Voges and Samit Patel fall in the opening two overs, but got back in contention with five fours from Will Jefferson.

Bilal Shafayat compiled a patient 27 before he was bowled by spinner Claude Henderson, setting the scene for Cairns and Read to up the tempo.

Read smashed Jagir Naik for six over mid-wicket while Cairns hit two consecutive fours off Allenby to leave Notts needing 18 off two overs.

A drive over cover handed Cairns his 50 and although he then chipped to mid-wicket, Ealham came in to finish the job.

Earlier, Leicestershire appeared well placed for a big total after winning the toss and reaching 114 for three at the end of the 14th over.

But the loss of three wickets in 11 balls meant they only added 35 to the total in the final six overs, a disappointing return considering the start made by in-form opener Ackerman.

The experienced South African let his opening partner Jacques du Toit strike the opening blows in a quick-fire 20 before he was run out by a direct hit from Patel at point, with Allenby and Boeta Dippenaar quick to follow.

But Ackerman settled into a 49-run partnership with skipper Paul Nixon, who hit Patel for a six over mid-wicket before perishing to the same bowler attempting the same shot.

Rob Ferley then removed Ackerman and Dillon du Preez with consecutive deliveries as Leicestershire lost their way, with Henderson surviving the hat-trick ball before being caught in the penultimate over.
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