Brilliant Smith denies Nottinghamshire
Lancashire 248 for 5 beat Nottinghamshire 246 by 2 runs
A brilliant all-round performance from Tom Smith secured a two-run victory for Lancashire Lightning as Nottinghamshire Outlaws missed out on a semi-final place in the Clydesdale Bank 40.
Smith hit 117 from 104 balls as Lancashire reached 248 for five, before taking four for 48 to become the first player for the county to score a hundred and take four wickets in a limited-overs game. Nottinghamshire's West Indies international Darren Bravo hit a run-a-ball 62 while captain Chris Read almost snatched an unlikely victory with 64 from 50 balls, only to become one of Kyle Hogg's victims as the seamer picked up three for 63.
Needing four from the last ball with Hogg on a hat-trick, Darren Pattinson could only hit two as Nottinghamshire finished on 246 for nine at Trent Bridge. Lancashire openers Stephen Moore and Smith made early headway with the bat as the inexperienced Nottinghamshire seamers Brett Hutton and Jake Ball leaked runs.
Pattinson did have Moore caught at mid-off by Ali Brown for 12 but Smith and Steven Croft then put on 101 in 15 overs before Croft sliced Steven Mullaney to short third man for 32. Karl Brown played on to Mullaney before Smith holed out at deep midwicket off Graeme White soon after, with Gareth Cross caught at cover off the returning Pattinson.
Nottinghamshire changed their batting order and Mullaney opened with veteran Brown, Mullaney hitting four fours before he was caught at mid-off for 22 off Smith. Brown, making a farewell appearance before retiring, had made 18 when he was caught down the leg side off Smith, who then had Riki Wessels pinned lbw.
Bravo combined with Scott Elstone to add 71 in 11 overs for the fourth wicket, bringing up his half-century with a pulled six off Hogg over mid-on. Elstone miscued a full toss from Hogg to mid-on, and when spinner Stephen Parry removed Bravo and Paul Franks in quick succession, the visitors looked to be cruising home.
Read returned the momentum in Nottinghamshire's direction in a 71-run partnership with White, who was bowled in the penultimate over with the home side needing nine for victory.
Former England international Read was then caught on the long-on boundary and Hutton sliced to point as Hogg held his nerve to confirm the win.