Phantoms edge past Outlaws
Skipper Luke Sutton led by example as the Derbyshire Phantoms beat the Nottinghamshire Outlaws in a last-over thriller.
Skipper Luke Sutton led by example as Derbyshire Phantoms beat Nottinghamshire Outlaws in a last-over thriller.
Sutton's unbeaten 61 carried the Phantoms to a four-wicket victory in front of a record Twenty20 crowd of 8,991 after he and Michael Di Venuto, who made 52 off 30 balls, had set the visitors on their way with a second-wicket partnership of 89.
Notts won the toss and got off to a rapid start with the bat despite a horrible mix-up between Stephen Fleming and David Hussey which led to Hussey being run out for four.
But 22-year-old Will Smith took his opportunity after being promoted up the order with some effortless pulls and drives through midwicket on his way to 51 off 34 balls with six fours and two sixes.
He put on 48 in five overs with Fleming before the New Zealand captain was caught behind for 16 edging a wild drive off Tom Lungley.
Smith continued to hurry through the singles with Gareth Clough but the introduction of Derbyshire spinners Andy Gray and Ant Botha stemmed the flow of boundaries.
Clough played all around a straight one from Ian Hunter and Smith was bowled by Botha's opening delivery.
And when Samit Patel chipped Gray to point and Mark Ealham was yorked by Hunter, the Outlaws were looking at a bleak total to defend.
It took a late flurry from Chris Read to push the score to 147 for eight, as the Notts wicketkeeper thumped an unbeaten 44 from 28 balls, with three fours and two sixes.
Fleming's decision to pick medium-pace bowlers on a slow pitch looked a good one when Ealham fooled Jon Moss into driving straight at Hussey at mid-off in the second over.
But Di Venuto and Sutton appeared to have put Derbyshire in the driving seat, only for Di Venuto's dismissal by Patel to cause a wobble in the middle order, with four wickets falling in six overs.
Zimbabwean Travis Friend had a poor debut as he holed out to Graeme Swann off Clough for eight, Graeme Welch went without scoring driving Swann to a sliding Smith and Botha miscued Ealham's slower ball to Hussey.
But Sutton was unmoved and guided them home with two balls to spare.