Notts win sets up crunch match
Nottinghamshire 257 for 7 beat Durham 254 for 8 by 3 runs
Half-centuries from Samit Patel and Chris Read helped Nottinghamshire Outlaws to a three-run victory over Durham Dynamos - a win which sets up a winner-takes-all clash with Warwickshire Bears for a semi-final place. Needing a victory to maintain their push for top spot in Group C, Patel hit 75 and Read an unbeaten 66 from 51 balls as Nottinghamshire posted 257 for 7 after batting first at Trent Bridge, with 85 runs coming in the last seven overs.
A third-wicket partnership of 86 between Gordon Muchall (47) and Ben Harmison (46) set up a thrilling finish for the visitors, who needed 18 off the final over from Darren Pattinson and five off the final ball, but Chris Rushworth could only force a single to mid-off and they finished on 254 for 8. Pattinson finished with 3 for 70 but Ryan Sidebottom, with 3 for 45, and Steven Mullaney, with 2 for 24, were the stars with the ball for the hosts.
Nottinghamshire will go to Edgbaston on Sunday knowing victory will continue the quest for their first one-day trophy since 1991.
A Nottinghamshire win looked unlikely in the opening three overs as some appalling decision-making saw both Alex Hales and Adam Voges run out. Samit Patel then set about repairing the damage with younger brother Akhil and dominated a partnership of 95 in 18 overs.
That pushed the score on to 98 before Akhil was caught at long-off off the bowling of Scott Borthwick for 38, with Samit driving to extra cover soon after. Scott Elstone produced a useful 30 before he was stumped off Ian Blackwell, at which point Nottinghamshire skipper Read combined with Mullaney to blast 57 runs in the batting powerplay, including 21 off one Mark Davies over, before Mullaney and Paul Franks fell in the penultimate over to Rushworth.
Durham got off to a flying start, hitting 65 off their first 10 overs for the loss of Phil Mustard and Mark Stoneman to England seamer Sidebottom. Harmison and Muchall opted to bat safely through the middle overs but were unable to accelerate when required, both falling to catches in the deep.
Ben Stokes clubbed three sixes in a 29-ball 39 to put the visitors back in the hunt, with Blackwell and Gareth Breese both caught on the boundary. When Will Smith was caught at point with four balls remaining, 16 more runs were needed, and although Borthwick paddle-swept the next delivery for four and Rushworth swatted a six over midwicket, he was unable to repeat the trick off the final ball.