All-round Patel leads Notts home
Samit Patel came to the fore as Nottinghamshire got their NatWest T20 Blast campaign off to the ideal start with a 33-run win over Lancashire.
Patel's fluent 56 off 41 balls helped the home side to a formidable 182 for five after they were invited to bat first, while the burly all-rounder also took two wickets as Lancashire were bundled out for 149.
The Lightning, who revealed earlier this week they are in talks to sign former England star Andrew Flintoff for this competition, threatened briefly through Jordan Clark, but his contribution proved too little, too late.
In truth, though, Lancashire were under the cosh when Michael Lumb and Notts' T20 captain James Taylor put on a quickfire partnership of 54 off just 26 balls.
After England's T20 star man Alex Hales had skied a lifter from James Anderson to Wayne White running in from midwicket, Lumb and Taylor laid the platform for Notts.
Taylor combined power with finesse to hit Anderson for three successive fours, while Lumb clubbed Clark for successive sixes, with the pair putting on 48 in the final three powerplay overs.
After both batsmen had departed, the introduction of spin quelled the fireworks but Patel's vigilance kept the score ticking over.
The 29-year-old and Riki Wessels (25 off 18 balls) put on 53 although the latter perished after a clever run out from Croft after Anderson had dropped Patel on 32.
Patel would go on to bring up his 50 off 39 deliveries, with five fours, in the final over and he thumped his first six over midwicket off White before perishing immediately after trying to repeat the trick.
It nevertheless put the Outlaws in the ascendancy, with the fall of steady wickets undermining Lancashire's chase.
Jos Buttler gave the Lightning some hope, following up a reverse-swept four with a powerful six, but Steven Mullaney (three for 46) would have the last laugh when England's limited-overs wicketkeeper-batsman sliced to Lumb, who took a great diving catch running in from long-off.
Big-hitting Clark bludgeoned four fours and three maximums in his 44 off only 20 deliveries, but was left with too much to do down the order and was bowled by Andy Carter (two for 23) looking for another big blow.