Mick Newell admitted Nottinghamshire’s luck was in as they went through to the quarter-finals of the Friends Provident Trophy despite a 10-wicket thrashing at the hands of Hampshire Hawks.
After Notts were bowled out for just 145, with former England seamer Dominic Cork claiming four victims, Hampshire then raced to their victory target inside 30 overs without losing a wicket.
But an astonishing result at New Road saw Worcestershire Royals bundled out for 58 at the hands of minnows Ireland to ensure the Outlaws finished second in Group A and somehow qualified for an away tie in the knock-out stages.
None of the frontline Notts batsmen shaped up to the challenge posed by a slow, seaming wicket. Mark Wagh gave Cork a return catch off the first ball of the match, and Hampshire captain and wicketkeeper Nic Pothas stood up to all his bowlers and picked up two sharp stumpings off Cork as a result.
Hampshire were also faultless in the field, with Chris Benham removing Samit Patel with a stunning low, one-handed diving catch at short midwicket off a full-blooded pull, as well as running out Will Jefferson with a direct hit from cover.
After falling to 68-7 with the dismissal of Paul Franks, Mark Ealham and Andre Adams staged a recovery of sorts to push the score on past three figures, largely thanks to Adams smashing Sean Ervine for 18 in four balls.
He holed out at deep midwicket for 26 while Ealham stuck around and finished unbeaten on 33.
Despite the success of the Hampshire bowlers, none of the Notts attack could dislodge Hawks openers Michael Lumb and James Adams, who raced to half-centuries and ended the game with the first ball of the 30th over.
Thankfully, Worcestershire were in the middle of an extraordinary collapse of their own against Ireland and within 15 minutes of the match finishing at Trent Bridge, Notts knew they had qualified for the quarter-finals.
Director of Cricket Newell said: “We got some luck as that performance was unacceptable, but we have also played some decent cricket along the way.
“The group is decided over the course of eight games and in five of those, we’ve played well, picked up the points and done enough to get through. We’ve been given another chance thanks to Ireland and it’s important we make the most of it.
“I had said to the players before the competition started that Ireland could expect to win at least one game and fortunately it came today.
“We have got some work to do over the next couple of days. We will try and focus on some of the positive aspects of our performances over the group stages, hopefully play better on Saturday and push for a semi-final spot.”
OUTLAWS GET LUCKY AFTER THRASHING BY HAMPSHIRE
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