Alex Hales with 82 and Graeme White, who claimed figures of five for 22, both played a leading hand as Nottinghamshire Outlaws brushed aside the challenge of Lancashire Lightning to defeat them by 60 runs at Trent Bridge.
The victory guarantees Notts a home quarter final tie after the win enabled them to top the North Group of the Friends Life t20.
Hales’ blistering innings set the side up for a highly-competitive total of 194 for six – with Notts clearing the boundary ropes on eleven occasions.
Six of those maximums were hit by Hales, who was visibly distraught when he was run out by a direct throw from deep midwicket to end his stay.
Without a t20 hundred on his CV – and with a full five overs left to bat – the opener knew that a better opportunity to reach three figures couldn’t be asked for.
David Hussey had announced an unchanged Notts line-up at the toss and also admitted he’d have bowled first but that option went to his opposite number, Glen Chapple.
Given how the innings unfolded, the home side clearly made the most of having first knock on a used wicket.
A 35-minute stoppage for rain disrupted the Lancashire reply after 11.2 overs but at that stage they were already struggling at 87 for six with Graeme White claiming four of the wickets to fall by that stage.
It took Notts just a little more than five overs to finish off the visitors’ innings after the restart, eventually bowling them out for only 134, with 19 deliveries remaining unused.
Chapple was the eighth man out, chopping on to his own stumps, to give White not only his personal best but also the best figures by any Nottinghamshire bowler in t20 cricket.
Harry Gurney then blasted his way through Arron Lilley’s defences before Samit Patel ended the contest by having Ashwell Prince caught in the deep by a sliding Steven Mullaney.
Michael Lumb had been quickly out of the blocks at the start of the afternoon, striking two maximums in a 15-ball knock of 30, helping Hales put on 59 for the Outlaws’ first wicket in the process and a huge total seemed likely as 112 for one had been reached by the halfway stage.
Although the innings lost some of its momentum after Hales’ departure the final total appeared challenging, especially when Stephen Moore chipped the first ball of the reply straight back to Patel.
Tom Smith made 22 and Steven Croft added 23 but both were amongst White’s victims as Lancashire’s middle order struggled badly against the spinner.
Both counties must now wait for Wednesday’s quarter final draw, with Notts having finished top of the group and second-placed Lancashire left contemplating an away trip in the last eight.