In a match that relied heavily on spin and slower bowling, Notts Outlaws went down to a 4-wicket CB40 defeat against Surrey at Trent Bridge.
Put in, Notts were bowled out for just 149 in 38 overs, with six of the wickets falling in 31 overs of spin.
Although Surrey lost two early wickets in their reply, they always had the cushion of wickets in hand and a better run-rate and reached their target with 23 deliveries to spare.
The Lions began the match with spin at both ends and reaped instant reward as Matthew Spriegel bowled Michael Lumb (7), with one that appeared to go straight on before clipping the top of middle.
Riki Wessels (13) came out with all guns blazing and flat-batted Jade Dernbach for a six into the base of the Fox Road Stand. The England ODI bowler then offered width to Alex Hales, who punched him for three boundaries on the offside as he relished a bit of extra pace being put on the ball.
Dernbach improved his figures with two quick successes. Samit Patel (1) top-edged an intended hook down to fine leg, where Zafar Ansari held a well-judged catch by his knees.
Hales (25) then hit aerially for the first time and paid the price as Zander De Bruyn pouched a catch at backward point.
Adam Voges and Chris Read, with rebuilding work to do, added 67 in 18 overs together but were tied down by accurate slow bowling and the entire partnership didn’t feature a single boundary.
Voges (36) fell at the end of the 30th over, snicking Murali Kartik to Gary Wilson at slip to reduce the total to 119-5.
Eight overs later the players were heading for the pavilion as the last five wickets were blown away quickly.
Read (35) was the next to go, hitting Ansari to Spriegel at long on. Steven Mullaney called Graeme White (1) for a single that was never there and Roy’s throw to Davies found the batsman well short of his ground.
Mullaney (8) couldn’t make amends against the spinners and was stumped, charging at Gareth Batty, who followed up by bowling Jake Ball (11) in the same over.
Luke Fletcher (1) was last to go, falling to Dernbach’s slower ball, with the bowler ending with figures of 3-39.
Stuart Meaker, who had taken a five-wicket haul in the recent championship match between the two counties, hadn’t been required to bowl a single over as Surrey’s slower bowlers held sway.
On the same wicket that had been used for last week’s t20 quarter final, run-scoring had been difficult but the score of 149 looked woefully inadequate.
After a tidy first over from Patel, the pace of Harry Gurney was utilised from the Pavilion End. In the corresponding match at Guildford, three weeks ago, Surrey had been reduced to 8-5 after four overs.
Those thoughts would, perhaps, have been recalled in the crowd as Gurney struck twice in two balls to leave the score on 3-2. Rory Hamilton-Brown (2), back in the Lions side after a well-documented absence, flashed at a rapid delivery and edged through to Read.
The next delivery was also hostile, got big on Jason Roy (0) and flew off the glove to White at backward point.
Notts were unable to make any further, immediate inroads, as Steven Davies and Gary Wilson added 60 together in 15 overs.
With the match seemingly slipping away Davies (35) gave Notts a lifeline by slicing Mullaney straight up in the air, with Voges taking the catch at cover.
Wilson (29) followed his partner off the field, stumped by Read off White.
With the crowd loudly applauding every dot ball and every sharp piece of fielding the asking rate began to escalate. Mullaney bowled five tidy overs for just eleven before Spriegel chanced his arm and hit a four and a six in the 27th over, leaving just 53 to get.
De Bruyn (9) presented Mullaney with his second wicket, clipping straight to Voges at midwicket.
With victory in sight Surrey took the batting powerplay and went on a successful counter-attack to reach their target with 23 deliveries remaining.
Man of the Match Spriegel (47) hit White for a six and four before holing out to Wessels on the legside boundary but the damage had already been done.
New man Batty, facing Patel, hit his second delivery into the Fox Road Stand and then Zafar Ansari launched White down the ground for another maximum to win the match.
Surrey’s victory takes them to the top of Group B, with Notts dropping to third behind Hampshire Royals.