Notts Outlaws missed an opportunity of securing a semi final place for themselves when they slumped to a 38 run defeat by Worcestershire at Trent Bridge.
Set to chase down 221 in 37 overs, after afternoon showers had delayed the start, the home side were bowled out for 182, with James Taylor remaining unbeaten on 67.
Taylor had been left with the lower order after Worcestershire had reduced Notts to 83 for five with Moeen Ali claiming the wickets of Samit Patel, David Hussey and Riki Wessels on his way to collecting figures of three for 28.
"We just weren’t good enough tonight and fielded poorly by our standards." Steven Mullaney
Daryl Mitchell had earlier top-scored with 56 as his side posted 220 for eight after being invited to bat first.
Mitchell shared in an opening stand of 58 in 10.4 overs with Ali, who added 28 and then Alexei Kervezee, who hit a run-a-ball 31 in a second wicket partnership worth 49.
Steven Mullaney was awarded his county cap before the start of play but, whilst pleased about that, he was bitterly disappointed at the outcome of the match.
“It shouldn’t have been a tricky chase for us because they shouldn’t have got anywhere near 220. We just weren’t good enough tonight and fielded poorly by our standards.
“It’s a bitterly disappointed dressing room but we know what we have to do to qualify and we’ll be determined to put things right with a win at Hove on Thursday.”
Put in, after Chris Read won the toss and elected to field, Worcestershire’s openers got off to a fast start. Mitchell and Ali, celebrating his selection for the England Lions side to play Australia on Friday, put on 58 for the first wicket.
Ali (28) was the first to fall, taken in the deep by a diving Alex Hales off Mullaney’s bowling.
The dismissal didn’t set back the batting side as Alexei Kervezee punched a run-a-ball 31 before departing to another good catch, this time by a diving Riki Wessels, off Shahzad.
Mitchell’s fifty came from 64 balls, with 4 boundaries. He’d advanced to 56, passing 2,000 career runs in the process, when he mistimed a shot off Shahzad straight to Mullaney at midwicket.
Thilan Samaraweera (38) hit the only maximum of the Worcs innings, clipping Patel over midwicket before being trapped in front by Jake Ball.
Ross Whiteley (6) led a charmed life before being eventually dismissed by Shahzad. Notts had three attempts to run him out but were unsuccessful with each attempt with the batsman nowhere near.
Ben Cox (2) was smartly taken by Read off Gurney, who then took a return catch to dislodge Tom Fell (25).
Gurney took another catch in the next over as Jack Shantry (8) top edged Ball to him at third man.
Alex Hales and Michael Lumb profited against Worcestershire’s debutant bowler, Graeme Cessford, taking him for four boundaries in the fourth over of the reply.
Lumb (11) then nicked Shantry to Samaraweera at slip and the powerplay ended with the side on 49-1.
Hales (31) was undone by another inexperienced bowler. Charlie Morris, playing just his second one-day match, found the outside edge of the opener’s bat and Cox did the rest behind the stumps.
Patel (1) was squared up by Ali and spooned a catch to Whiteley. The same bowler then had Hussey (7) caught on the leg side fence and Riki Wessels (6) given out lbw to reduce Notts to 83 for five.
Read made 25 to restore hope but once Mullaney (11) and Shahzad (10) had fallen the end came quickly despite James Taylor passing fifty for the fifth time in this season’s competition.
The right-hander ran out of partners as both Ball and Gurney were bowled with four overs still remaining.
Notts now face Sussex Sharks at Hove on Thursday before a trip to play Kent at Canterbury on Bank Holiday Monday.