Solid contributions from three of their top order helped Notts Outlaws to their first victory in this season’s Royal London One-Day Cup competition.
Set a revised DLS target of 286 from 47 overs Notts got over the line, thanks to half centuries from Alex Hales, Riki Wessels and Samit Patel, to defeat Derbyshire Falcons by four wickets with four balls to spare.
Hales scored 77 from 58 balls, with 11 fours and two sixes, Wessels made 67 and Patel was dismissed for 59 in the chase, with James Pattinson hitting the winning runs.
Earlier, Derbyshire Falcons posted 303 for four after winning the toss and opting to bat, with Billy Godleman making 90, Ben Slater hit 72 and Wayne Madsen finished with an unbeaten 66.
James Pattinson, with two for 55, returned the leading figures with the ball
After seeing his side pick up their first points in the group, assistant head coach Paul Franks said, “It’s a step in the right direction.
"We’ve had a tough couple of games in the early part of this competition, one where not much went for us and one where we played poorly.
“Today was all about remaining positive. We didn’t want to go into our shells and play safe, so the important thing was to get out there and believe in the group that we’ve got and encourage them to play positively.”
The Outlaws set off in pursuit of 304, presumably unaware that it would be their highest successful chase in one-day cricket. That target was later adjusted to 286 as a rain stoppage of around 20 minutes lopped three overs off their allocation.
Derbyshire sprang something of a surprise by giving Madsen the second over of the innings but the gamble paid off as Michael Lumb launched the part-time spinner down the throat of long off.
Lumb only made six but his departure was the last that the Falcons would see for more than an hour.
Hales was particularly severe on Tom Milnes, taking him for three straight fours in one over and two more in the next as he raced to a 50 from 35 balls with nine boundaries.
The second wicket pair added 119 together in just 16.3 overs but a rash decision to attempt a switch-hit cost Hales as Matt Critchley flattened his middle stump.
Wessels reached his 50 from 45 balls but perished to a fine boundary catch from Alex Hughes off Jeevan Mendis, retribution for the bowler who had seen the right-hander hit him for two towering sixes down the ground.
Patel was dropped at midwicket on 39 but hit Shiv Thakor, the unfortunate bowler, over the long on ropes next ball. A deserved 50 materialised from 66 balls but then a sharp shower interrupted play.
After the stoppage Derbyshire gained a double boost by removing both Brendan Taylor and Patel in quick succession.
The former Zimbabwe captain lopped Mendis to point for 22 and then Patel greeted the return of Madsen by lofting him to mid off.
When Chris Read chopped on for 8, the equation was 23 required from 24 balls.
Billy Root played nicely to bring that down to nine from two overs and four from the last, leaving Pattinson with the honour of forcing Madsen away for a brace of twos.
That confirmed the win, leaving Derbyshire to reflect that they probably should have done a little better after building such a strong platform when play began at 11am.
On an even-paced strip, one that had been used at the weekend, none of the Outlaws’ four-pronged international pace attack could sufficiently trouble either of the Falcons openers.
Harry Gurney began the contest with a maiden but then both Godleman and Slater made merry in a stand that spanned for 110 minutes.
Godleman hit Gurney down the ground for the first maximum of the day to register the team’s half century.
The Derbyshire captain was first to his 50, getting there from 48 balls, with Slater reaching his from 71, with the total stretching into three figures in the 19th over.
Notts’ ground-fielding was excellent at times, with a couple of boundary stops from Alex Hales bringing warm applause from his 10 team-mates.
Chris Read utilised six different bowlers before the breakthrough eventually materialised in the 28th over, with 148 already on the board. Godleman pushed Pattinson to Wessels at short cover and a direct hit accounted for Slater.
Pattinson’s pace then accounted for Thakor, 17, who mistimed straight to Patel at extra cover.
Godleman was within sight of his century when he chose to charge towards Patel and wastefully lofted straight into the hands of Pattinson at long on. The dismissal signalled not only a valuable scalp for the Outlaws but also the 200thwicket of the slow left-arm spinners’ one day career.
Daryn Smit was the only other batsman to fall in the innings, chipping Pattinson to Stuart Broad after making 21.
Madsen took charge of the second half of the innings, reaching his 50 from 42 balls and ending on an unbeaten 66, which included two maximums off Patel’s spin.
Gary Wilson made 23, hitting three consecutive fours in the 48th over, which took Derbyshire past the 275 they registered at Welbeck last year, their highest one-day total against Notts.
The events which followed suggested they were perhaps just a handful of runs short but both sides could take satisfaction from the part they’d played in a thrilling contest.
Notts are next in action on Friday, when they face Warwickshire at Edgbaston, followed by a clash at Welbeck against Leicestershire on Sunday 7th May.