Notts Outlaws will play in the final of the NatWest T20 Blast after defeating Hampshire by 23 runs in Saturday’s semi-final at Edgbaston.
Dan Christian’s side posted 169 for seven, after being asked to bat first, with Riki Wessels top-scoring with 48.
Samit Patel made 35, before becoming one of two Liam Dawson victims. Chris Wood also took two wickets for the south coast side.
Hampshire lost the wicket of Shahid Afridi from the first ball of their chase but roared back into contention with 56 from captain James Vince.
Harry Gurney brought a rapid conclusion to proceedings by taking three late wickets within the pace of four deliveries, to finish with three for 19, as the innings faltered at 146 all out.
Steven Mullaney collected the man-of-the-match award for a spell of three for 22, made when his side were badly in need of a momentum swing.
At the start of the afternoon, Notts were unlucky in the powerplay overs with Hampshire pulling off two outstanding catches, both from the bowling of left-arm seamer Chris Wood.
Alex Hales had pulled Gareth Berg for a six in the second over but on 15, made from just seven balls, he slashed to backward point, where Afridi made a smart grab.
Tom Moores watched on from the non-striker’s end, during a second wicket stand of 26 but was unable to get off the mark before slicing to a diving Kyle Abbott at short third man.
Wessels had benefitted by a fortuitous five in the first over, when a Vince throw eluded wicketkeeper Calvin Dickinson.
The in-form Wessels hit Dawson for three consecutive fours but was denied a half century when he pushed at Mason Crane and provided Vince with a comfortable catch on the off side.
Brendan Taylor made 19, falling to a long off catch off Afridi, after he had put on 28 with Patel, as Hampshire began to strangle the middle overs with pace off the ball.
A catch in the deep by George Bailey ended Patel’s stay for 35, leaving Notts on 122 for five.
The skipper hit Abbott for three consecutive sixes in the 17th over but then found the safe hands of Michael Carberry at deep backward square.
When Mullaney went without scoring Notts were in danger of being bowled out but Ish Sodhi and Billy Root scrambled an unbroken 21 together in the last couple of overs, with Sodhi hitting a six in his undefeated 15.
All Notts supporters recognised the immediate danger as Hampshire began their run-chase, with Afridi marching out to open the batting.
The Pakistan international had blazed a 42-ball century in their quarter-final victory over Derbyshire Falcons and another explosive start could irreparably damage the Outlaws chances.
Patel sent down the first ball, with his left arm spin. Afridi heaved and made contact – high out to deep midwicket – and into the safe hands of Hales.
Notts had begun the powerplay with a wicket and they ended it with one, but not before Dickinson and Vince had added 55.
Dickinson hit the final ball of the sixth over straight to Christian, from the bowling of Jake Ball.
Vince and Tom Alsop took the score to 97 for two but their position of strength was under-mined by an epic spell from Mullaney.
Mixing his pace up nicely he bagged three for 22, his best figures of his campaign. In consecutive overs he caught and bowled Alsop for 20, bowled George Bailey for four and then had Vince taken at deep backward square by Brendan Taylor.
Mullaney’s pressure also forced a run out, with Carberry gambling that he could beat the throw of Patel from short third and failing, as the direct hit found him short.
The eighteenth over was decisive as Gurney profited from two catches by Wessels in the deep to send back Dawson and Berg, before Christian clutched an offering from Abbott.
With 24 still needed from nine balls, the game was concluded when Ball fired one through the defences of Wood to propel the Outlaws to their first appearance in the final since 2006.
Notts will face Birmingham Bears in Saturday evening’s final, with the action getting underway at Edgbaston at 6.45pm.