T20 Blast: Ben Duckett guides Northamptonshire to semi-final win over Nottinghamshire
Last updated on .From the section Counties
|NatWest T20 Blast semi-final, Edgbaston|
|Northamptonshire 161-8 (20 overs): Duckett 84, Wakely 53; Russell 3-20|
|Nottinghamshire 153-9 (20 overs): Russell 39, Read 30; Crook 3-28|
|Northamptonshire won by eight runs|
Ben Duckett's 84 off 47 balls helped Northamptonshire beat Nottinghamshire by eight runs to reach their third T20 Blast final in four years.
Batting first, they slumped to 15-3, but 21-year-old Duckett and skipper Alex Wakely (53) put on 123 as the 2013 winners recovered well to reach 161-8.
England opener Alex Hales went for a second-ball duck as Notts fell short on 153-9 despite Andre Russell's rapid 39.
Northants will play the winner of Durham and Yorkshire in the final.
Despite heavy rain overnight and during the morning in Birmingham and a poor forecast, the groundsmen, helped by Edgbaston's excellent drainage, ensured play got under way just 30 minutes late at 11:30 BST.
After the three early wickets, one a disastrous run-out of opener Adam Rossington four balls in, Duckett played a Twenty20 innings of high quality.
The England Lions batsmen mixed reverse sweeps, including a maximum over point off Samit Patel, scoops over the wicketkeeper's head and shots down the ground to bring up his half-century off 28 balls.
By the time he was bowled by Jake Ball in the 16th over, Duckett had struck 12 fours and two sixes, and made sure the Steelbacks would have a decent score to defend.
Nottinghamshire's innings began in a similar fashion, also falling to 15-3, including flat footwork from Hales as he was bowled by a Rory Kleinveldt inswinger.
West Indies all-rounder Russell, who took 3-20 with the ball, bludgeoned three huge sixes in his brief cameo which was ended by Rob Keogh's stunning diving effort on the leg-side boundary.
Chris Read gave Notts some hope with a 20-ball 30 to take the chase to the final couple of overs, but once he holed out to the long-on boundary off Steven Crook (3-28), the Outlaws knew they must wait for at least another year to lift the domestic T20 trophy for the first time.