Notts Outlaws slumped to their first defeat of the Yorkshire Bank 40 competition when they finished 50 runs short of their target against Sussex Sharks at Trent Bridge.
After being set to score 224 to maintain their 100 per cent record, Notts’ strong top order failed to deliver for the first time this season.
James Taylor top-scored for the home side with 48 and Samit Patel made 45 as Notts were bowled out for only 173 with last seven wickets falling for just 47 in only 10 overs
Earlier, after electing to bat first, Sussex reached 223 for nine with Matt Machan making 68 with hopes of a bigger total stunted by the performance of Harry Gurney who took five for 48 for Notts.
Mick Newell, Notts director of cricket, was understandably disappointed with the outcome. “I thought it was a pretty poor effort with the bat. I said at half-time we were quite happy, we’d take the 223 that they scored but we made a pretty poor effort of things after then.”
Newell admitted he was pleased with Gurney’s effort, albeit in vain.
“It’s never the same if the team doesn’t win but Harry can be happy with his performance with the ball, as can Steven Mullaney and Samit.”
Notts rang the changes after the long trip to Truro in midweek. Harry Gurney and Jake Ball returned to bolster the bowling line-up, Riki Wessels had been given the all-clear to resume playing after his thumb injury and David Hussey began his latest term as an Outlaws player, replacing countryman Ed Cowan.
Luke Fletcher, Sam Wood and Graeme White – on loan at Northants – were the others to miss out.
Three weeks ago 26-year old Gurney took a championship hat-trick against the same opposition at Hove. This time, the left-arm quick bowler removed both Luke Wright and Rory Hamilton-Brown in his opening burst before returning to claim three more wickets, including Machan, who had shared in a stand of 90 with Ed Joyce for the fourth wicket.
Many of the crowd of 8,181, who had taken advantage of a generous discounted admission price, had come to hail the return of David Hussey to the Nottinghamshire ranks.
Notts soon ran into difficulties in their pursuit of 224. Matthew Hobden, a 20-year old seamer from Eastbourne, began his debut in style for Sussex by bowling Michael Lumb (13) after an inside edge onto his stumps.
Alex Hales made 7 before driving Andrew Miller to point, where Rory Hamilton-Brown took the first of four catches in the field.
Patel skied Chris Liddle, who took three for 21, to mid off and Hussey only made 14 before the innings collapsed in dramatic fashion with 4.1 overs remaining unbowled.
Nottinghamshire remain over-whelming favourites to win the group but will need to lick their wounds and recuperate after their winning streak ended at seven consecutive victories.