Nottinghamshire dump defending champions out
Nottinghamshire 141 for 9 beat Sussex 128 for 7 by 13 runs
Nottinghamshire held their nerve under the Trent Bridge lights to knock champions Sussex out of the Friends Provident t20 in a tight quarter-final tonight.
Mike Yardy's visitors appeared on course to join their south coast neighbours Hampshire - who earlier this evening scraped past Warwickshire - in the last four for next month's showpiece at the Rose Bowl, after the Outlaws had mustered only 141 for 9.
But in conditions when pace off the ball proved more effective throughout than pace on it, Samit Patel replicated Yardy's own bowling - and Steve Mullaney's seam also strangled the Sussex reply to give Nottinghamshire victory by 13 runs.
Yardy had picked up two wickets in a typically miserly spell, and Yasir Arafat finished with 4 for 34 as the home tail nonetheless eked out what proved a defendable total.
After Chris Nash - dropped on only two by Ryan Sidebottom at short fine-leg off Dirk Nannes - and Luke Wright got the chase off to a handy start, Sussex faltered alarmingly to Patel, Mullaney and Darren Pattinson (3 for 17).
Wright was Pattinson's first victim, mistiming a catch for Sidebottom at mid-on, and Nash was then lbw trying to sweep Patel. His was the first of three wickets to fall for only 14 runs - Yardy run out in a mix-up with Murray Goodwin, and then Ed Joyce lbw sweeping at Graeme White.
Andrew Hodd and Goodwin threatened to keep Sussex in it. But the wicketkeeper drove Sidebottom to be well-caught by David Hussey at extra-cover - and after Goodwin's luck ran out when he fell to a good catch by Alex Hales on the midwicket boundary, the game was up.
Ali Brown had earlier helped to set the pace for the Outlaws, after Yardy had chosen to bowl first under cloudy skies. But just after Brown clubbed two successive leg-side sixes off Chad Keegan, the seamer got his revenge when the ex-Surrey batsman missed another attempted big hit and was bowled.
His fellow opener Hales was already gone, edging on to off-stump as he attacked Arafat. Then when Yardy introduced his notoriously effective, skiddy left-arm spin the life appeared to be sucked out of Notts' mid-innings.
Patel and Mullaney were both cramped by his tight line and testing full length, bowled looking for big shots. Number three Matt Wood stayed long enough to top-score with 36 before Goodwin's direct hit from point ran him out. But danger man Hussey was fourth out, caught in the deep off Nash's off-spin.
From 100 for 6 with five overs to go, Nottinghamshire did well to salvage a worthwhile total thanks to some late hitting from Chris Read and Sidebottom.
Unexpectedly, it turned out to be enough too, the Outlaws booking themselves in for the August 14 showpiece - only the second time they have reached finals day.