sport

Taylor fires Notts into semis

James Taylor hit a magnificent 146 not out as Nottinghamshire beat Derbyshire by 85 runs at Trent Bridge to reach the semi-finals of the Royal London One-Day Cup.

The skipper smashed five sixes and eight fours in his innings of 154 balls as Notts posted 313-5 off their 50 overs, before bowling out the Falcons for 228 in 44.5 overs, with Marcus North top-scoring with 67.

The innings was Taylor's 11th and highest one day hundred. He had fine support from Samit Patel, who scored 55 in a third wicket partnership of 136 and then returned figures of 4-49 with the ball.

Playing the 100th one-day match of his career, Taylor won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first on a used wicket. Momentum swung rapidly during the early stages, especially for Mark Footitt.

Derbyshire's left arm pace bowler, formerly on the staff at Trent Bridge, opened up by bowling the only maiden of the innings. His next over, the third of the match, saw Michael Lumb hit four balls away to the boundary ropes.

Lumb looked in imperious touch but was then cruelly run out for 19 in the fourth over as a Steven Mullaney drive was deflected onto the stumps by bowler Ben Cotton, with the left-hander having backed up too far.

Cotton then removed Mullaney, opening the batting with Alex Hales away on England duty, for nine thanks to a fine slip catch by Wayne Madsen.

Those two early dismissals enabled Taylor and Patel to join forces and begin a stand that took the game away from their East Midland rivals. Taylor's only two concerns were run out appeals that were referred upstairs to the third umpire but turned down in each instance.

Patel fell in the powerplay overs but both Riki Wessels (28) and James Franklin (27) increased the tempo as Taylor powered towards his second century of this season's competition, eventually reached in 134 balls, with seven fours and one six.

Having passed three figures the diminutive right-hander kicked on spectacularly, hitting Cotton for three maximums in quick succession straight after the unlucky bowler had seen Footitt spill a dolly at short third man off Franklin.

A sharp catch from Mullaney removed Wes Durston for five in only the second over of the reply and once Ajmal Shahzad had sent back Billy Godleman (25) and Madsen (14), the odds against a successful run chase lengthened considerably.

The middle order were undone by the spin of Patel, with only North and David Wainwright, who hit a career best 41 not out, offering any resistance before Luke Fletcher knocked over the final two wickets.

Notts now await Friday's draw to see who they will face in the semi-finals, whilst Derbyshire can reflect on reaching the knock-out stages of a domestic competition for the first time since 2005.