With the domestic twenty20 competition due to get under way in a few weeks time, we take a look at the top ten highest individual strike rates in an innings by the county’s players scoring fifty or more. Master blasters like Alex Hales, Dan Christian, and Michael Lumb, to name but a few, have lit up the side’s batting in the shorter format of the game with some spectacular innings down the years.
Nottinghamshire have won the competition twice, with their last victory in 2020 when they defeated Surrey in the final. Last year they reached the quarter-finals and after nineteen seasons of English twenty20 cricket, no-one, but no-one, has tasted victory on more occasions than the Outlaws.
In a format where a single moment of genius or misfortune can turn the game on its head, Notts have triumphed on no fewer than 129 occasions – 60% of all their clashes, they lead the way in the rankings with many of this down to some fine innings from some super players…
Here are the top ten blasters in descending order:
- Michael Lumb 62 off 26 balls (strike rate 238.46)
Opening the batting in a group game against Leicestershire in 2012, Lumb smashed five fours and six sixes as Nottinghamshire progressed to the quarter-finals of the domestic twenty20 competition and a home tie in the next round. He pummelled three sixes in five balls, and three sixes in succession to reach a swift 50 off 23 balls. However, he was dismissed three balls later caught off Wayne White. He had scored his runs out of 94 in the eighth over. Notts went on to total 196-3. Leicestershire were never in the hunt and ended on 127-9.
- Graeme Swann 62 off 25 balls (strike rate 248.00)
Chasing a testing target of 181 to win a group game versus Yorkshire in the early days of the domestic twenty20 competition in 2005, off-spinner Swann was promoted to open the innings, and he proceeded to blast a furious 62 out of 101 scored for the first wicket inside eight overs, as Notts chased down the runs with two balls to spare. He smote nine fours and three sixes, and reached his half century off only 19 balls. Earlier, he had picked up two for 31 in the Yorkshire innings.
- Alex Hales 60 not out off 24 balls (strike rate 250.00)
With only a target of 87 to chase, opener Hales made light work of the run target as Notts won a group game against Worcestershire in 2021, to go top of the twenty20 table. It took the Outlaws just 38 balls to overhaul the target with Hales blasting 11 fours and two sixes in the 24 balls he faced. An over from New Zealand slow bowler Ish Sodhi went for 24 runs (44646), and the fifty came off 18 balls. Notts won the game by ten wickets as the visitors recorded just 86 for 8 in 20 overs. Spinner Samit Patel recorded the remarkable figures of 3 for 4 in four overs to pick up the man of the match award.
- Mark Ealham 91 off 35 balls (strike rate 260.00)
In a match from the second season of the domestic twenty20 cup, Notts were chasing a formidable 208 to win a group game against Yorkshire in 2004. Coming in at number six with the score on 56-4, the former Kent man went on to blitz five fours and nine sixes in one of the fastest innings in the competition at the time. He struck three sixes in three successive deliveries, in reaching 50 off 23 balls, and with 143 coming from the last 10 overs, Notts emerged victorious with one ball remaining.
- Michael Lumb 69 not out off 26 balls (strike rate 265.38)
A violent assault on the Leicestershire bowlers saw South African-born Lumb paste nine fours and four sixes as Notts easily achieved a run-curtailed target of 141 in 14 overs with 3.3 overs to spare. This was the team’s eighth win in succession in the t20 Blast competition from 2016. A run of 6,6,0,6,4,4 (26 runs) in a Richard Jones over enabled Lumb to reach his fifty off only 17 balls, and with Dan Christian’s amazing knock (54 not out off 16 balls), the pair added 66 off only 22 balls, as Notts romped home by eight wickets.
- Alex Hales 69 off 25 balls (strike rate 276.00)
Another one of Hales’ amazing knocks for the county came in 2010, as the team chased down a big target of 193 to beat Derbyshire in a group game. After Wes Durston had made a century for the opposition, Hales opened the innings and caressed his way to fifty off only 16 balls in the fifth over, putting on 100 for the first wicket with Ali Brown in 7.2 overs. There were 11 fours and three sixes in his innings. Samit Patel then came in and recorded an unbeaten 62 off 27 balls, as Notts romped to the winning mark with three overs to spare.
- Dan Christian 113 not out off 40 balls (strike rate 282.50)
Australian all-rounder Christian has had his fair share of super-quick innings for Nottinghamshire, and this one from 2018 was the highest individual score for the county in the twenty20 format at the time. Batting first, Notts had ambled to 81-4 in the tenth over when Christian strode to the crease. Captaining the side, he struck three sixes off consecutive balls off Graeme White, and completed his fifty off 21 balls, before launching into Nathan Buck with 6,4,2,4,6,4 off an over. He finished off the innings with 22 (624262) off Rory Kleinveldt as Notts totalled 219-6. He had reached the second fastest hundred in England domestic twenty20 cricket off a mere 37 balls, and his entire knock contained seven fours and nine sixes.
- Riki Wessels 55 off 18 balls (strike rate 305.55)
Another fast scoring stalwart of Nottinghamshire cricket, Wessels produced the goods with a 17-ball fifty versus Worcestershire in a group game in 2018. Opening the innings, there were an incredible nine sixes in his innings (54 runs), and a solitary single. All nine of the maximums came in the space of 15 balls faced, including five in six balls, before being caught in the fifth over with the total on 72. The assault enabled the Outlaws to easily reach the tough target of 192 set by the home team with 11 balls to spare.
- Alex Hales 95 off 30 balls (strike rate 316.66)
Astonishingly, this onslaught from the flashing bat of Mr. Hales is not the fastest scoring for 50-plus scores in the county’s twenty20 cricket history. In a near record-breaking knock from 2017, Hales was dismissed aiming for his tenth six in an attempt to equal Chris Gayle’s world record fastest twenty20 hundred off 30 balls. After Durham had totalled 183 for 7 in their 20 overs, Hales opened the innings with Riki Wessels and blasted 24 in the space of five balls, four fours off four balls, and 28 (246646) off a Ryan Pringle over as he sped to a 50 off 19 balls. He launched into another three sixes off four balls, before being caught with the total at 126 after 7.1 overs. The brutal knock contained nine fours and nine sixes. Such was the ferocity of the scoring that Notts reached their target with still 6.1 overs to go.
- Dan Christian 54 not out off 16 balls (strike rate 337.50)
Having earlier been noted as scoring the second fastest domestic twenty20 hundred in England, the big all-rounder from New South Wales gets credited with the highest strike-rate in an innings for the county after reaching 50. In the same innings as Michael Lumb scored a quick-fire 69, skipper Christian blasted four fours and six sixes as Notts comfortably reached a target of 141 in 10.3 overs playing Leicestershire in 2016. Coming in at number four, he smashed a six off his first ball, then pummelled 4,4,4,1,6,6,6,6 off consecutive balls, before launching a six off the final ball of the match to reach his fifty. His runs had come out of 66 scored in just 3.4 overs.
*Article provided by Hitesh Darji (Cricket Correspondent)
*Main image @TrentBridge the big hitting Dan Christian powering his way to glory in typical fashion.