|Vitality Blast final, Edgbaston|
|Surrey 127-7 (16 overs): Roy 66, Evans 43; Christian 4-23, Ball 2-17|
|Notts Outlaws 129-4 (13.2 overs): Duckett 53*, Trego 31; Jacks 2-32|
|Notts Outlaws beat Surrey by six wickets|
Notts Outlaws beat Surrey by six wickets at Edgbaston to become T20 Blast champions for the second time.
In a match reduced to 16 overs a side, Surrey totalled 127-7 thanks to a 90-run partnership between England’s Jason Roy (66) and Laurie Evans (43).
Dan Christian took 4-23, but Notts lost Alex Hales to the first ball of their reply and were soon 19-3.
Ben Duckett kept his head for an unbeaten 53 as he and Christian saw them to 129-4 with 16 balls to spare.
Duckett reached his 38-ball half-century with the winning boundary off Surrey skipper Gareth Batty to become a three-time T20 winner, having played for Northants Steelbacks in 2013 and 2016.
He put on 63 for the fourth wicket with Peter Trego (31), who was playing his first short-format game since July 2019 after Chris Nash was injured in Notts’ semi-final victory over Lancashire.
Trego fell leg-before to spinner Dan Moriarty – whose 17 wickets in the competition were only exceeded by Jake Ball of Notts (19), but skipper Christian hit three fours in an unbeaten 21 as he helped Duckett finish the job in the 14th over and end a season which lasted just 65 days because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Notts and Surrey were deserved finalists, having achieved the highest number of points in the group stage with seven wins each – although the Outlaws only just squeezed through their quarter-final on a better Powerplay score after a tie with Leicestershire.
After Saturday’s wash-out forced Finals Day to be moved to the reserve day for the first time, the semi-finals were restricted to 11 overs a side, and Christian underlined his value to Notts in T20 cricket by hitting four successive sixes as they defeated Lancashire by five wickets.
Surrey, who were T20 winners in the inaugural competition in 2003 and beat Gloucestershire in their semi-final, lost Hashim Amla and Will Jacks cheaply after Christian won the toss and put them in.
Roy struggled at the start of his innings, being dropped at mid-wicket by Trego, but in tandem with Evans – who made fifties for Birmingham Bears and Sussex Sharks in previous finals – he gradually stepped up the tempo.
The momentum shifted when Christian had Evans caught in the deep by Duckett and two balls later removed Jamie Overton for a duck with the help of a brilliant flying catch by wicketkeeper Tom Moores.
Roy eventually shuffled across his stumps and was lbw to Ball as Surrey only added eight runs from the final nine balls of their innings.
Notts needed exactly eight runs an over to win but Hales could hardly believe what he had done after pulling the first ball of their reply, bowled by Reece Topley, straight to deep backward square.
Jacks’ spin then accounted for Joe Clarke and Samit Patel – the latter caught at long-on by Rory Burns two balls after the England Test player had dropped him in a similar position.
Duckett, though, was unperturbed despite a sore hand and Notts grew in confidence with Liam Plunkett and Overton given only one expensive over each.
Veteran Trego was clearly enjoying himself, but missed an attempted sweep off Moriarty and departed in the ninth over with Notts still 46 short of their target.
Such a scenario was of no concern to Christian, who put Moriarty away to his favourite mid-wicket region and added two more boundaries in the same Topley over.
The victory was sealed by Duckett, who pulled Batty square for four and then turned the next ball into the leg-side and found the rope again thanks to a misfield.
Nottinghamshire opener Ben Duckett told BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra:
“I’m so happy for us today. After just missing out last year in such a tight game, tonight was such a good feeling, we learnt from last year.
“It was key that we finished the game early and not take it into the last over because you just never know.
“It was a slight shame no fans were here but hopefully the Notts fans are happy.”
Surrey captain Gareth Batty told BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra:
“We’re gutted, we’ve been on a good run, played some good cricket and we genuinely thought we were right in the contest.
“At the halfway stage we thought we were a few light and with the start we had we thought hang on a second the door is ajar.
“Fair play to Notts, their batting is long and deep and they played very well in the middle and got over the line.”