Despite a hat-trick from Afghanistan international quick bowler Hamid Hassan, the Notts Outlaws defied the odds to beat the MCC by 3 wickets at 7he Sevens Cricket Ground, Dubai.
Chasing 155 for a place in the final against Sussex Sharks Notts squeaked over the line when the penultimate delivery of the match was called a no ball.
Notts included 17 year old Academy batsman Sam Wood in their line-up, with the team also featuring Scott Elstone, with Brett Hutton and Mark Wagh stepping aside.
Wagh, indeed, had remained in Abu Dhabi with Charlie Shreck as both players continued to have red ball practice ahead of the championship campaign.
Chris Rogers and Stephen Davies opened the batting for the MCC with Luke Fletcher and Jake Ball sharing the new ball.
Fletcher’s early dismissal of Rogers brought the MCC captain to the crease. Saurav Ganguly, the former Indian Test star, had helped attract a crowd of over 2,000 paying spectators but many were quickly disappointed when fell for just a single.
Trying to work Paul Franks to leg he stepped back in his crease and trod on his stumps, dislodging a bail. The batsmen tried to run a single before the Notts’ fielders alerted the umpires and Ganguly was sent on his way.
Then Mohammad Nabi mistimed a pull off Mullaney and the ball spooned to third man where Jake Ball pouched the catch.
Davies, meanwhile, continued to score all around the wicket and moved within two of a half century before being run out due to a smart piece of work by Scott Elstone.
There was delight for Sam Wood when he clean bowled Dawid Malan and some late hitting by Lancashire’s Stephen Moore lifted the total to 154-7.
Notts lost Neil Edwards early before Alex Hales and Samit Patel took the total to 77-1 at the end of the ninth. Samit had batted with his customary authority and hit a series of glorious boundaries through the off side before pulling Hamid Hassan to deep square leg for 23.
Ali Brown fell lbw next ball, trapped in his crease to a full delivery. Chris Read survived the hat-trick ball but later in the innings Hassan would have greater success.
After Alex Hales had fallen for 47 Notts were left requiring 29 from the final three. Hassan then returned to the attack and sent back Steven Mullaney for 33, Scott Elstone first ball and then knocked back Paul Franks’ off pole to a sharp full delivery bowled from around the wicket.
With most of the home support favouring the MCC – and enjoying Hassan’s theatrical celebrations, it was down to skipper Chris Read to mount a counter-attack and he found a willing ally in Wood as the pair each clubbed a huge maximum from the bowling of Nabi.
Twenty one runs came from the over, meaning only six were required as many deliveries. With two balls left – and the scores level – Wood skied Toby Roland-Jones to long on but as MCC celebrated the catch there attention was drawn to umpire Michael Gough who was signalling that it had been a no-ball.
Wood finished with 12 not out from just seven deliveries, whilst Read’s 48 from 33 contained six boundaries, as well as his six.
Notts Outlaws will now play Sussex Sharks in the final to try and lift the Emirates Airline T20 Trophy, the first piece of silverware of the new season.
Dave Bracegirdle will provide ball-by-ball commentary on Nottinghamshire's LV=County Championship season on behalf of BBC Radio Nottingham.