sport

Outlaws secure last-ball victory

An Alex Hales century and a four from the final ball of the match from Luke Fletcher helped Nottinghamshire secure a one-wicket Royal London One Day Cup victory over Warwickshire Bears at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.

Warwickshire, thanks to Jonathan Trott's century and Tim Ambrose's 98, posted 302 for seven from their 50 overs, and Nottinghamshire needed century knock from England newboy Hales to wrap up victory at the death.

The outcome means that both sides now qualify for the quarter-finals, although the win means that the Outlaws will have home advantage in their last-eight match, whereas Warwickshire will have to travel.

Trott scored 108 from 121 balls with 11 fours, and Ambrose scored 12 fours as he fell just two runs short of a ton, as the pair added 176 for the third wicket for the Bears.

Fletcher, with career best one-day figures of four for 44, was the only member of the home attack to maintain a modicum of control and his final burst accounted for both members of the huge stand.

Notts replied with a centurion of their own as Hales scored 104 from 90 balls with 12 fours and three sixes, sharing in a huge third-wicket stand as he and James Taylor, who made 62, added 138 together.

The match hinged on the final delivery of the evening. With the scores tied, Fletcher followed up his performance with the ball by driving Oliver Hannon-Dalby for the winning boundary, to the delight of the majority of the 4,000 crowd.

Trott and Ambrose had joined forces at 32 for two after Warwickshire had elected to bat first. Clipping his first ball away for a majestic four, Trott immediately looked in good touch as the partnership quickly gathered momentum.

Both players had reprieves though. On 12 Ambrose appeared to have nicked Ajmal Shahzad behind. Notts celebrated collectively but the batsman remained rooted and umpire Neil Bainton awarded in his favour.

Trott's 'life' was more clear-cut. On 36 he clipped James Franklin to Samit Patel, in the short mid-wicket position but the chance went begging.

Ambrose fell during the batting powerplay, yorked by Fletcher but Trott advanced to his 17th one-day century shortly afterwards, arriving at the landmark from 115 balls with 10 fours.

A catch at deep mid-wicket eventually accounted for the 33-year old and Fletcher grabbed his fourth wicket thanks to a smart piece of wicketkeeping as Chris Read stumped Rikki Clarke, standing up to the pace bowler.

Michael Lumb lit up the start of the Outlaws' reply, hitting a punishing 36 from just 21 balls before playing on to his stumps off Clarke.

The same bowler then had Steven Mullaney caught behind, enabling Taylor to join Hales at the crease. Richard Jones replaced the opening bowlers and let a beamer slip towards Hales at the start of the 13th over, an over that eventually cost 16.

Taylor hit Recordo Gordon into the Fox Road Stand for the first six of the evening just before Hales reached his 50 and the opener celebrated by hitting both Richard Jones and Ateeq Javid for maximums of his own.

Hales purple patch of form took him to his third century of this season's tournament and his fourth in all competitions in the last two weeks.

An unlucky deflection from his back pad onto the stumps saw off the opener, gifting Gordon a fortunate wicket but it gave the visitors a massive way back into the contest.

Taylor fell for 62 and Notts then lost three further wickets in the batting powerplay before the equation came down to 22 needed from the last two overs.

Gordon thought he had bowled Shahzad but replays showed that a no ball had been delivered and the resultant decision was cos tly as 18 came from the penultimate over.

Once Shahzad had been run out it was left to Fletcher to score the winning runs to take Notts through.