Nottinghamshire 1 52 beat Worcestershire 142 for 5 by 10 runs
Nottinghamshire became the first team to qualify for the Friends Life t20 quarter-finals by clinching a 10-run victory over Worcestershire at New Road.
With a crowd of little more than 1,000 in the ground on a gloomy evening, the hosts had looked on course to cause a surprise after dismissing the north group leaders for 152.
This was Nottinghamshire's lowest total in 10 attempts when batting first in T20 matches this summer, but it proved to be enough as the Royals stumbled after an eye-catching half-century in 35 balls by Moeen Ali.
Samit Patel halted the flying start on his day release from England's one-day squad. The alrounder had Jack Manuel stumped for 21 while conceding only 21 runs in four overs and then ran out Moeen for 51 after the opener had hit 10 boundaries.
Manuel, deputising for the injured Vikram Solanki, and Moeen put on 69 by the ninth over, but Worcestershire's challenge petered out when Alexei Kervezee (21) and Shakib Al Hasan (20) departed in the space of four balls from Andre Adams and Steven Mullaney.
Nottinghamshire also lost momentum after a opening stand of 69 in eight overs by Tamim Iqbal (35) and Alex Hales (39). As soon as the first pair had fallen to Moeen's off-spin - Tamim stumped by Ben Scott and Hales caught at deep midwicket - the innings went into gradual decline against Worcestershire's trio of slow bowlers.
Shakib's dismissal of Adam Voges, the Australian trapped leg-before for 16, was the first of eight wickets to tumble for the addition of 50 runs in 46 balls. Saeed Ajmal continued to make an impact on the competition, bowling Patel for 11, and the Pakistan off-spinner went on to take three for 28, giving him 15 wickets in six games so far.
Worcestershire's fielding was strewn with errors at first but after Tamim and Hales had survived chances in the same over from Shakib, the home side lifted their levels in the rest of the innings. James Cameron held three well-judged catches in front of the pavilion and also ran out Adams with a smart return from deep extra cover to the bowler's end.