17 Juin 2017
A record 185-run fifth-wicket partnership between Samit Patel and Steven Mullaney guided Nottinghamshire into the Royal London Cup final with a five-wicket win over Essex at Chelmsford.
Nottinghamshire reached their target of 371 with three balls to spare – the highest successful run chase in a domestic List A competition – and they will face Worcestershire or Surrey at Lord’s on 1 July.
The pair came together after Brendan Taylor fell for 62 after putting on 100 with Patel for the fourth wicket and Nottinghamshire still had work to do at 180 for four just before the halfway mark.
Mullaney brought up his first List A century from 71 balls with a fifth six before he fell with victory in sight for 111 after striking six sixes in his 75-ball innings.
Patel saw Nottinghamshire home with an unbeaten 122 as they overhauled the record chase of 359 from Hampshire against Surrey in 2007.
Alastair Cook hammered his third century in the competition and Ryan ten Doeschate his second as Essex closed on 370 for five. The former England captain hit 133 from 128 balls with 16 fours as Essex rattled up their highest total in the competition this season. It was his 12th one-day century and took him past 1,000 runs for the season in all competitions, 636 of them in this competition.
Ten Doeschate joined Cook in the middle at 173 for three in the 29th over before Cook drove Harry Gurney for four to bring up his century off 95 balls.
Ten Doeschate took four successive boundaries off Mullaney as he raced to 50 off 40 deliveries but Cook fell shortly after, top-edging Patel, and Chris Read claimed the catch running back. Ten Doeschate then took three sixes off the penultimate over from Gurney and brought up his own century off 64 balls to take Essex past 350.
Nottinghamshire started positively but three wickets from Jamie Porter left them on 80 for three in the 10th over. After a period of consolidation, Taylor kick-started the innings with a chipped six over long-on off Neil Wagner. He brought up his half-century from 39 balls with five fours and that six but when he had reached 62, he called for a sharp single from the bowler’s end, finished up at the same end as Patel and Porter’s throw was gathered by Simon Harmer to complete a simple run-out.
Patel reached his 50 from 60 balls soon afterwards and then Mullaney took over. He cleared the ropes with a straight drive off Harmer and then hit four fours in the spinner’s next over on the way to his highest 50-over score as he and Patel took Nottinghamshire to a superb victory.