Rain frustrated the Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Trent Bridge as their Vitality Blast North Group clash was abandoned without a result due to rain.

After a start delayed by 30 minutes following a late-afternoon downpour, the Outlaws were restricted to 140 for six before another cloudburst sent them off the field after 18 overs.

Groundstaff had to put on most of the covers and though the rain stopped with 45 minutes remaining before the restart cut off time, the umpires decided there was no chance to resume.

It was especially frustrating for Matt Kelly, the Steelbacks’ Australian seamer, who took four for 29, including the scalp of Samit Patel who’d posted an important 63.

The Steelbacks had been well rewarded for their decision to put the Outlaws in as the home side’s top three tumbled out inside the powerplay overs.

Joe Clarke top-edged to deep square leg off Kelly, Alex Hales swished at one from Ben Sanderson that had him caught behind off the edge, and Ben Duckett ballooned a catch that was well caught by Freddie Heldreich running from backward point and taken over his shoulder at third man.

Tom Moores and helped Patel plunder 34 in three overs as the Outlaws advanced to 72 for three after nine but the Steelbacks spinners dragged the scoring rate back after Moores had picked out Saif Zaib on the boundary at deep point.

Patel eased the pressure by crashing six and four off Graeme White and four consecutive boundaries off Taylor, all behind square on the off side, going past fifty in this competition for the 26th time.

The charge was checked abruptly by the impressive Kelly, who dismissed Patel and Steven Mullaney in the space of four deliveries in the 17th over, which cost only a single for good measure. Patel followed Moores in picking out deep wicket and Mullaney was caught behind off an inside edge.

The rain returned an over later, the players staying out just long enough for Dan Christian to clear the rope behind square on the leg side off White. Sadly, it was the last action of the night.

The Steelbacks now sit fifth in the North Group and return to The County Ground to take on Leicestershire at Wantage Road on Wednesday. Tickets are available now and include the Charlotte Edwards Cup fixture beforehand.