T20 Blast final: Notts Outlaws beat Birmingham Bears to claim maiden title
|NatWest T20 Blast final, Edgbaston|
|Notts Outlaws 190-4 (20 overs): Taylor 65, Patel 64*; Woakes 3-29|
|Birmingham Bears 168-8 (20 overs): Hain 72; Gurney 4-17|
|Notts Outlaws beat Birmingham Bears by 22 runs|
Notts Outlaws won their first domestic 20-over title with a 22-run victory over Birmingham Bears in the T20 Blast final at Edgbaston.
A magnificent 132-run stand between Brendan Taylor (65) and Samit Patel (64 not out) propelled Notts to 190-4 after they had slumped to 30-3 early on.
Harry Gurney's 4-17 restricted the Bears to 168-8, despite Sam Hain's 72.
Notts now hold both domestic limited-overs trophies after their One-Day Cup success at Lord's in July.
And Peter Moores' side are well-placed to complete a treble-winning season by claiming the Division Two title in the County Championship.
- Relive T20 Blast Finals Day as it happened
- Mullaney sees Notts Outlaws into T20 final
- Birmingham Bears beat Glamorgan to reach final
Experienced heads change the game
The Outlaws' chances in the final looked bleak after they lost their top order cheaply, including England opener Alex Hales for a second low score of the day - bowled by international team-mate Chris Woakes (3-29).
Woakes also removed Tom Moores and Riki Wessels to leave Notts reeling, before an excellent recovery.
Once former Zimbabwe international Taylor, 31, and all-rounder Patel, 32, settled in they turned the final in Notts' favour.
Patel was the more destructive batsman, smashing four sixes in his 42-ball knock, while Taylor used a mix of deft touches, reverse sweeps and pure timing to find the boundary nine times.
Patel's innings was one of high class under the most extreme pressure - he used his feet superbly against a fine bowling attack to clear his front leg out of the way and hit regular boundaries.
Taylor fell at the start of the 19th over, but Outlaws captain Dan Christian finished the innings in style with 24 off eight balls, including 23 off paceman Olly Stone's final over.
Bears youngsters unable to save the day
Birmingham Bears transformed their T20 top-order halfway through the competition - bringing in youngsters Dominic Sibley from Surrey, Adam Hose from Hampshire and Ed Pollock from university cricket.
Pollock shone in their semi-final win over Glamorgan, with 50 off 27 balls, but this time he managed only 14 before being brilliantly run out by Patel.
And it was only 22-year-old Hain, their leading run scorer in the competition, who produced in the final with some wonderful straight hitting into the stands.
All-rounder Aaron Thomason, 20, provided some lusty blows in his brisk innings of 26, but Notts' experienced seam attack held their nerve.
Men of the match: Samit Patel & Harry Gurney
'I can't wait to celebrate'
Notts Outlaws bowler Harry Gurney: "On these knockout days anything can happen. I'm over the moon to have got over the line.
"You need a bit of luck. Sometimes those slower balls get hit into the stands and sometimes they are wickets. I'm happy with the way I bowled and the beer will taste even sweeter tonight.
"In the last few years we've felt that we've had a really strong team and we've finally done it. I can't wait to celebrate."
Birmingham Bears captain Grant Elliott: "They batted really well, they took the game away from us.
"They're a high class team. On paper, look at how many internationals they have compared to us.
"It's a great tournament, I've really enjoyed it and the team have really enjoyed every minute of it."