Rain-hit defeat puts Lancashire on brink
Nottinghamshire 52 for 2 beat Lancashire 178-4 (Moore 80, Smith 56) by 8 wickets (D/L method)
Nottinghamshire remained unbeaten as a record Lancashire opening stand between Stephen Moore and Tom Smith proved in vain in a rain-affected eight-wicket Friends Life t20 win.
Moore (80) and Smith (56) smashed 119 from the first 14 overs before acting skipper Steven Croft (31 not out) added late impetus to carry Lancashire to an imposing 178 for 4.
A lengthy rain delay with Nottinghamshire 7 for 0 after just one over of their reply left the hosts chasing 42 runs from four overs to reach a revised victory target of 49.
And once Yasir Arafat's over went for 18 - Riki Wessels (21 not out) striking three fours in four deliveries -Nottinghamshire were always going to get home, especially after Michael Lumb (22) had rattled the scoreboard along.
It was rough justice on Lancashire who had batted so well and showed why home skipper Adam Voges' decision to bowl first with bad weather forecast proved a prudent one.
After a start delayed by 35 minutes Nottinghamshire - who went top of the North group with victory - bucked their usual trend of batting first and took to the field under floodlights.
The ball moved around early on for Harry Gurney and Smith was fortunate to escape when on eight when Hales dropped a skier off the left-armer's bowling.
Smith slog-swept Samit Patel for a maximum and also picked the same bowler up over mid-wicket to go with six boundaries from 41 balls until Steven Mullaney finally bowled him.
After Moore survived a botched stumping chance on 47, he took up the attack as he was joined by Croft, who added a further 41 in four overs that seemed likely to take Lancashire past 200.
But after paddling Andy Carter for his eighth boundary, the opener tried to repeat the trick and found the hands of Gurney at short fine leg, before Croft hit 10 off the final five balls.
After Ajmal Shahzad delivered the first over of the Nottinghamshire innings prior to the rain break, Stephen Parry dismissed Alex Hales (four) and conceded nine runs off the second.
But Arafat was too wayward and punished by Lumb and Wessels so that even the former's exit, after he had thumped Tom Smith for a straight six, could not halt Nottinghamshire's momentum.
An eight-wicket win under the Duckworth/Lewis method was wrapped up with two balls to spare by Wessels who drove Oliver Newby over the top for his fifth boundary.