Steelbacks edged out late on by Nottinghamshire
Northants Steelbacks just fell short of a superb comeback as Nottinghamshire got home to win by two wickets with two balls to spare on Tuesday evening.
Tom Taylor’s three for 24 kept the Steelbacks in with a chance and the Outlaws needed eight off the final over bowled by Ben Sanderson.
They took two singles from three balls before fast bowler Dane Paterson smashed the pace bowler high back over his head to win the contest with a six to the delight of a good crowd on the attractive Gorse Lane ground.
Earlier, half-centuries from Ben Compton (71) and Ben Slater (53) had given substance to the Outlaws’ chase after left-arm spinner Liam Patterson-White’s List A career-best five for 19 had seen the Steelbacks bowled out for 210 in 49.5 overs.
Opener Emilio Gay hit 40 and Luke Procter 44 for the Steelbacks, but their last six wickets fell for 52 and they go out of the competition with one match remaining.
Nottinghamshire have completed their fixtures and must wait for other results in the final round on Thursday to learn whether they can qualify by finishing in the top three in Group One, although with three other counties on eight points with a match in hand the odds are against them.
Compton, a grandson of the great Denis Compton but a late entry into professional cricket, is in his second season with Nottinghamshire at the age of 27 but has had limited opportunities and his highest senior score - and his first half-century - came in only his sixth match.
Northamptonshire chose to bat but lost momentum as the home side’s two left-arm spinners applied a stranglehold, the impressive Patterson bowling through in tandem with 17-year-old Fateh Singh, an academy player making only his third senior appearance yet who bowled 10 overs with skill and discipline.
Procter and Gay added 50 for the third wicket but Gay was undone by left-arm quick Tom Barber’s extra bounce as he was caught at deep cover before Patterson-White struck in his second over as Rob Keogh fell victim to 19-year-old wicketkeeper Dane Schadendorf’s fast hands.
Patterson-White bowled Saif Zaib through the gate before Procter’s sweep went straight to a fielder, Taylor top-edged one that the bowler pouched himself and Simon Kerrigan was bowled, clipping the stumps with his bat in annoyance as he left the field.
Brett Hutton returned to clean up the last two as James Sales - 18-year-old son of former Northamptonshire batsman David Sales - finished unbeaten on 18 in his second senior match.
The Outlaws lost Sol Budinger cheaply but Slater and Compton added 77 in 19.2 overs, the former hitting eight fours in his fourth fifty of the competition before he was caught at deep backward square.
Taylor quickly had Outlaws skipper Trego caught behind but Compton remained patient, completing his half-century from 70 balls by reverse-sweeping Zaib’s left-arm spin.
Compton fell in the 39th over with 57 still needed, bowled behind his legs by Zaib, and as the spinners held sway again Keogh had Matthew Montgmery caught at deep backward square and Zaib dismissed Schadendorf lbw to leave 33 required from the last 30 balls.
Seventh-wicket pair Patterson-White and Hutton added 28 in five overs and the outcome was in the balance as both departed in quick succession but a boundary from Singh set up Paterson to have the last word.