THEY call him “The Big Show”, and although there was only a brief show on Friday night from Glenn Maxwell, it helped Yorkshire to victory on his county debut.
The Australian all-rounder, one of the world’s most explosive batsmen, clubbed 20 from 12 balls with one four and two sixes.
It was a timely intervention as Yorkshire overhauled the hosts’ 143-7 with six wickets and seven balls to spare.
When Maxwell came to the crease, Yorkshire were 92-3 needing 52 from 41 balls; when he left, they needed 17 from 19 deliveries and the game was all but done and dusted.
While attention naturally focused on Maxwell, who earlier returned figures of 0-31 from four overs with his off-spin, Yorkshire’s chase was masterminded by captain Andrew Gale.
The opening batsman scored an unbeaten 68 from 55 balls with five fours and a six, in the process becoming the first Yorkshire player to pass 2,000 runs in the format.
Gale paced his innings superbly – he even had the nerve to play out a maiden to Harry Gurney in the opening over – and went through the gears in seamless style. He drove the ball powerfully and cut with precision.
Fittingly, he sealed Yorkshire’s first T20 win over Nottinghamshire in five games with a six over mid-wicket off Sam Wood, the 22-year-old off-spinner.
Given an excellent attendance of 9,375, the superlative setting and the presence of star men such as Maxwell, this had all the makings of a memorable match.
That it never really got going as a spectacle was due to Yorkshire’s professionalism and a slow-paced, used surface that did nothing to encourage stylish strokeplay.
Nottinghamshire, in particular, struggled with the fact that the ball failed to come on to the bat and the game was punctuated with some ugly strokes as batsmen sliced and skewed to fielders.
Not the least impressive aspect of Gale’s innings was that he did not try to over-force the issue.
Nottinghamshire’s innings featured useful contributions from Samit Patel (41 from 27 balls), Steven Mullaney (38 from 28) and Greg Smith (27 from 29).
But they rather lost their way from 75-2 in the 10th over, Liam Plunkett leading Yorkshire’s charge with 2-18 from four overs.
There was a tidy performance from Adil Rashid (1-23 from four overs), but young Matthew Fisher (0-22 from two overs) discovered that T20 can be a leveller a week after his 5-22 on debut in the format.
Fisher held two excellent catches, however, one at third man and one at mid-on, the latter effort to dismiss Brendan Taylor off Plunkett seeing the ball somehow stick in his clothing.
Andrew Hodd hit a handy 22 from 26 balls, sharing an opening stand of 61 inside nine overs with Gale, and Maxwell played some striking shots.
He hammered his second ball for six over mid-wicket off Mullaney into advertising hoardings in front of the Larwood and Voce Stand, and he later cut Luke Fletcher for six over backward-point into the Fox Road Stand.