A partnership of 118 from David Hussey and Chris Read wasn't enough for Notts to claim victory over Worcestershire in the NatWest Pro-40.
Worcestershire Royals 225-5
Notts Outlaws 216-9 (Hussey 75, Read 59)
Worcestershire Royals won by nine runs
In front of a crowd of nearly 6,000, the pair's sixth-wicket stand gave the Outlaws a sniff of a win after the hosts had stumbled to 46-5 chasing 226.
But when Hussey was bowled by former England seamer Kabir Ali the hunt was effectively over, with Read following soon after as Notts went looking for the necessary boundaries in an unexpectedly close finish.
Despite some late hitting by Gareth Clough, who struck two fours and a six in his unbeaten 26 from 17 balls, Notts ended up 10 runs short.
That still represented a much-closer result than was on the cards after 13 overs, as Ali and Doug Bollinger ran through the Notts top order.
After Stephen Fleming and Graeme Swann fell in the first two overs, Will Jefferson, Samit Patel and Mark Wagh all swiftly followed, perishing with attacking strokes.
That left Hussey and Read with no choice but to try and bat for time before hitting out in the final third, with the Australian crunching eight fours and a six in his 80-ball knock.
Earlier, AJ Harris struck twice in his first two overs as Worcestershire also got off to a shaky start.
But while Swann and Rob Ferley kept the lid on things through the middle period, old stager Graeme Hick cut loose at the close with an unbeaten 93 to set a decent total.
Director of Cricket Mick Newell said: "We've lost against Hampshire and now Worcestershire because at no stage were we really in control.
"At the Rose Bowl our opening bowlers got hit; here we lost early wickets. We were chasing both games all the time and it's no surprise when you don't win in that situation.
"Hussey and Read did well but to have pulled that one off would have been 'once in a lifetime' stuff.
"We've got a lot to work on to turn these two results around and we probably need to win our remaining fixtures if we want to challenge for the title."