Report & Reaction: Nottinghamshire Outlaws v Hampshire Hawks, Vitality Blast

Read the match report and reaction from Hampshire's Hawks Vitality Blast Quarter-Final contest against Nottinghamshire Outlaws at Trent Bridge

Hampshire Hawks confirmed their status as Nottinghamshire Outlaws’ quarter-final bogey side with an extraordinary two-run victory at Trent Bridge, knocking out the Vitality Blast champions in front of 14,038 largely disbelieving spectators - a record for a quarter-final on a ground that has witnessed 13 in 16 seasons.

The Hawks had won quarter-finals at Trent Bridge in 2012 and 2014, but the chances of a repeat looked remote after they could post only a meagre 125 for nine on a used pitch after being asked to bat first.

The Outlaws looked to be cruising towards a fifth Finals Day appearance in six years at 66 for one in the eighth over, but collapsed in the most dramatic fashion to 123 all out, left-arm spinner Liam Dawson taking three for 24 and two wickets each for seamers Scott Currie and Brad Wheal, who delivered the coup de grace by having last man Dane Paterson caught behind with two balls of the 20 overs remaining.

Only 18-year-old Tom Prest (44) and James Fuller (30) made any impression with the bat for the Hawks, whose total was their smallest of the campaign. Paterson took three for 22 and there were two each for the Outlaws’ leading wicket-taker Calvin Harrison and off-spinner Matt Carter, who did not concede a boundary in a miserly two for 18.

Yet it proved enough as the Outlaws, for whom Joe Clarke top-scored with 42, fell apart, losing seven wickets for 30 runs to plunge from 66 for one to 96 for eight in eight calamitous overs. Carter’s 23 off 13 balls at the death proved in vain.

The Hawks will go to Edgbaston on September 18 looking to win their third Twenty20 title, having scraped into the last eight only on net run rate, finishing fourth in the South Group.

It looked a remote prospect as they lost D’Arcy Short and James Vince in struggling to 26 for two in the Powerplay, which became 34 for three as Joe Weatherley departed. Quickly frustrated by tight bowling on a grippy surface, Short pulled straight to midwicket, Vince top-edged to third man and Weatherley miscued to fine leg.

Two in two balls from Harrison against his former county turned the screw further as the leg-spinner pushed one through to bowl Lewis McManus and induced a return catch from Liam Dawson. At 40 for five, Hampshire were on the ropes.

Prest survived the hat-trick ball and he and Fuller added 49 in 39 balls but, after picking up sixes off Harrison and Steven Mullaney, Fuller attempted to do the same to Carter and was caught on the midwicket boundary. Prest smashed Paterson for six over long-off. But he was dropped at long-on in the same over before finding the fielder at deep backward square. Paterson then had Scott Currie leg before to a full-length ball and Chris Wood skied to extra cover.

Alex Hales lofted Liam Dawson disdainfully for six over extra cover as the Outlaws began their chase but though the left-arm spinner gained revenge as the home side’s most prolific run-getter holed out to long-off for 19, it was the Hawks’ sole success in a Powerplay that cost 53 runs.

Yet the Outlaws from that point suffered one calamity after another as Ben Duckett was run-out by Fuller’s direct hit, Tom Moores fell lbw to leg-spinner Mason Crane, Clarke lofted straight to extra cover, Samit Patel, dropped on four, fell victim to a sharp stumping off a leg-side wide and Ben Slater slashed to backward point.

Harrison and Mullaney holed out to deep square leg in consecutive balls off Currie and though Carter raised home hopes again by clubbing two sixes in three balls off Chris Wood after Luke Fletcher had been ninth man out to leave the Outlaws needing three of the last six balls, Paterson could not give him the strike and after three dots his desperate flail gave Lewis McManus the catch.