Murray Goodwin punctuated his match-winning innings with a six off the final ball to secure the NatWest Pro 40 Division One Championship for Sussex Sharks.
Goodwin’s 87 condemned Notts to a fourth-placed finish having looked likely winners when productive spells from spin-pair Samit Patel (3-36) and Graeme Swann (3-33) reduced the visitors to 130-8
Patel had contributed 78 to the Outlaws total of 226 but with the odds stacked against him, Goodwin held his nerve.
“At 130 for eight, we were the only team in it and I believe that 99 times out of a 100, we would have gone on to win the game,” said Notts Director of Cricket Mick Newell.
“Murray Goodwin was outstanding and he produced an innings to win a game for his team when a lot of people would have thought he was chasing a lost cause.
“Throughout the last eight overs, I thought that a mistake would be made and we’d get over the line but we can’t turn the clock back. We have to focus our energy on the Championship and more immediately on a very important game against Surrey next week.”
Notts did very little wrong with the potency of their spinners supplemented by sharp fielding and aggressive middle-order batting from Ashwell Prince and Chris Read.
Will Jefferson made 21 after watching fellow opener Graeme Swann go for nought, bowled by Mohammad Sami whose tail-end 32 alongside Goodwin proved so frustrating for the Notts seamers.
“We were very much happy with our total,” said dejected Outlaws skipper Chris Read.
“It’s a big ambition of mine to win a one day trophy with Notts and we’ve come so close without getting over the final hurdle.
“For Murray to score those runs under that kind of pressure deserves a lot of credit. It was one of the finest innings that I’ve stood behind.
“We are devastated but we’ve got one more bite of the cherry and by tomorrow, we will be looking forward to facing Surrey at The Oval. The County Championship is the pinnacle and that’s what we’re aiming for now.”