TO SAY that Nottinghamshire are something of a bogey team for Yorkshire in T20 is an understatement.
In fact, they have lost more games against them (17) than any other county with last night’s 63-run reverse the latest in the list.
Yorkshire’s 11th T20 defeat on this ground was another blow to their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals, with Notts leapfrogging them into the fourth and final qualifying position as the visitors dropped to fifth.
Yorkshire will probably need to win their last two games, at Northants on Thursday and at home to Notts the following night, to reach the last eight – the minimum requirement given their resources and strength.
Before a crowd of 12,277, who watched in sunny if somewhat autumnal conditions before darkness descended, Notts scored 212-5 after winning the toss.
Tom Moores – son of Notts head coach and former England coach Peter Moores – top scored with 80 from 49 balls with six fours and three sixes, and Jake Libby struck 58 from 33 balls with five fours and two sixes.
The pair, who both made T20 career-bests, shared 112 in 11 overs, the highest for the third-wicket against Yorkshire in T20, eclipsing the 101 compiled by Ross Taylor and Dale Benkenstein for Durham at Chester-le-Street in 2010, and also the highest for any wicket for Notts in this fixture.
Only Jack Brooks with 1-22 from four overs, including 12 off his first, kept the runs in check as the visiting attack was put to the sword.
Pursuing what would have been their highest T20 run-chase, which remains the 196 knocked off against Derbyshire at Headingley in 2005, Yorkshire were one run ahead of their hosts at the halfway stage of their reply – 86-1 against 85-2.
But the pressure of a required rate of 10.65 eventually told, with the losses in quick succession of David Willey and Tom Kohler-Cadmore, the two players remaining who might have pulled off something remarkable, effectively ending White Rose hopes.
Kohler-Cadmore top-scored with 72 from 50 balls with seven fours and three sixes, his second-wicket stand of 74 inside 10 overs with Willey giving Yorkshire hope before splendid bowling closed out the contest, Harry Gurney starring with 3-24.
After a prompt 6.30pm start despite an afternoon deluge, which left puddles of water on the outfield, Yorkshire showed two changes to the team that lost to Lancashire the previous night.
Steve Patterson, who broke a finger in that match trying to take a catch and could be out for up to five weeks, was replaced by fellow paceman Matthew Fisher, with batsman Harry Brook coming in for all-rounder Tim Bresnan.
Patterson’s place as captain was taken by Willey, who last led a first team in July 2015 when he captained Northants in a One-Day Cup match at Derbyshire.
After racing to 31 inside three overs Notts lost both openers to slip to 45-2 by the end of the six-over powerplay.
Wessels, in trying to pull Fisher towards the Fox Road Stand, spooned the ball apologetically to Brooks at short fine-leg, and then Brooks had Hales well caught low down at cover by Kane Williamson off a full-blooded cut.
But it may have left Williamson with a broken finger and he will have an x-ray on Monday.
Despite the rain the outfield was quick and a bare-looking surface full of runs, as proved by the enterprising Libby and Moores.
Both men played with prudence and power, Libby showing his class by caressing Brook’s medium pace over cover for six before thumping Jordan Thompson over the mid-wicket rope.
After Moores pulled Fisher for six, Libby went to his maiden T20 half-century from 25 balls, Moores following him to the landmark from 35 deliveries.
The total had risen to 155-2 in the 17th when Libby was bowled by Fisher after making so much room to hit to leg that he was physically unable to reach the ball. Moores hit Thompson for six over long-off before Dan Christian blazed 20 from seven deliveries.
Christian started the 18th over by mowing Fisher for 4-4-4-6 before being bowled off the next ball, Thompson running out Steven Mullaney at the non-striker’s end in the penultimate over.
Yorkshire’s reply began in the grand manner when Adam Lyth swept the first ball for six off Samit Patel, but the left-hander skied Christian to cover to leave the visitors 27-1.
Willey fell to a fine catch at long-on by Wessels, diving forward off Patel, and after striking successive straight sixes off Ish Sodhi, Kohler-Cadmore sliced the spinner to short third-man.
As desperation intensified, Gary Ballance was bowled, Brook lbw, Williamson caught at long-on and Fisher bowled as Yorkshire ended on 149-7.