Samit Patel lit up a damp night in the T20 Blast with a record-breaking effort as he rescued Notts Outlaws to win their local derby with Derbyshire Falcons at Trent Bridge.
The 36-year-old former England international hit a stunning 64 not out, then claimed two scalps as he became the first Englishman – and only the sixth in world cricket – to do the Twenty20 double of 250 wickets and 5,000 runs.
That earned holders Notts a two-run win over their North Group neighbours, after Glamorgan had earlier beaten Middlesex in Cardiff, in the one South Group game played.
But, on a night of weather more suited to football than cricket, the other six games were all abandoned because of rain – a blessing in disguise, or not?
Patel’s power play
In a match already reduced to 15 overs-a-side following a delayed start, Notts lost Alex Hales and Joe Clarke to Logan van Beek in the first over and were then 19-3 in the third over and 45-4 when Patel came to the crease with just three balls left of the powerplay.
But Patel had a power play of his own planned as he thumped three sixes and six fours out of his side’s 152-6.
After losing wickets in successive balls in the second over, Luis Reece smashed 56 off 26 balls to put Derbyshire in with a chance but, when he went in the seventh over, they began to fall behind the asking rate – and ended up needing 20 to win off the last over, which proved just too much.
The Notts game got going just as the bottom of the table South Group battle between Glamorgan and Middlesex was coming to an end with a 21-run win for the Welsh hosts.
Glammy’s total of 150-9 owed much to South African Colin Ingram, who provided precisely half of it.
Steven Finn (4-19) and Blake Cullen (3-33) were both in the wickets, but Ingram smashed 75 runs off 48 balls before Australia-born Dutch international Timm van der Gugten starred with the ball, taking three wickets for 3-16.
That included dangerman Paul Stirling for 46, who had looked to be steering his side to victory in a 61-run third-wicket stand with Eoin Morgan, who went a couple of overs later after a run-a-ball 33.
“Sometimes in a campaign there is a moment when you know you need to turn things around,” said Ingram. “To spend some time in the middle was great. It felt like it was all coming together again.”
“It’s safe to say we came up short in all areas,” said Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn. “On the bowling front we could have restricted them to 10 or 15 runs less and we lost frequent wickets when we batted.”
The six wash-outs
As well as World Cup-winning captain Morgan, it was a frustrating end too for the rest of his England squad, who start their T20 series with Sri Lanka next Wednesday evening.
Worcestershire T20 captain Moeen Ali, Yorkshire quartet David Willey, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid and Jonny Bairstow, Lancashire duo Jos Buttler and Liam Livingstone, Hampshire spinner Liam Dawson, Warwickshire’s Chris Woakes, Durham’s Mark Wood, Sussex’s Chris Jordan and Surrey’s Jason Roy and the Curran brothers, Sam and Tom, were all playing their last game before answering their country’s call.
Yorkshire’s derby with Durham was the last of the evening’s six wash-outs to officially get abandoned, umpires Graham Lloyd and Tim Robinson finally being forced to call it off at 20:00 BST.
The only positive for Yorkshire, who are still handily placed in second in the North Group table, is that the loss of their four England T20 players is offset by the return of Test captain Joe Root.
He will play their next “three or four” Blast games, according to coach Andrew Gale, starting with the visit of Derbyshire to Emerald Headingley on Sunday.
Of all the sides rained off, North Group leaders Birmingham Bears were perhaps the most disappointed at Edgbaston as it brought their streak of four straight wins to an end.
But 40 miles down down the motorway at Northampton, Northants Steelbacks, who had lost their first four matches, at least picked up their first point of the campaign.
That leaves also winless Leicestershire, one of only two sides not in action on Friday night, as the only pointless side in the competition.
Following Thursday’s wash-out at The Oval, Surrey and Sussex were both frustrated by the rain for the second time in 24 hours.
Surrey suffered another Oval abandonment against Hampshire, while Sussex’s meeting with against Somerset at Hove was abandoned more than two hours before the scheduled start.
Sussex and Surrey both remain unbeaten after five matches – now back on top of the group level on eight points with Kent, who already had the night off.
And the Essex-Gloucestershire game at Chelmsford was the fifth time in as many years that this luckless fixture has fallen victim to the weather.
Somerset v Glamorgan (Taunton, 19:00 BST)
Sunday (all 14:30):
Durham v Birmingham Bears (Chester-le-Street)
Lancashire v Notts Outlaws (Manchester)
Northants v Leicestershire (Wantage Road)
Yorkshire v Derbyshire (Leeds)
Gloucestershire v Hampshire (Bristol)
Kent v Essex (Canterbury)