Notts Outlaws slid to defeat in their Vitality Blast match against Durham Jets at Chester-le-Street on Saturday afternoon.
The defending champions lost an important toss and were asked to bat first on a wicket juiced up by overnight rain.
Notts were restricted to just 132 for seven from their 20 overs, with Steven Mullaney top-scoring with 38. Samit Patel made 32, with both Chris Rushworth and Nathan Rimmington each grabbing two wickets for the hosts.
The Jets were able to proceed at a steady canter as they knocked off the required runs in 16.5 overs, to close on 136 for three, for a comfortable 7-wicket victory.
Graham Clark led the sprint to the finishing line, making 64 for the Jets, backed up by an unbeaten 40 from Paul Collingwood.
Mullaney, who passed 1,000 T20 runs for the Outlaws during his innings, played down the effect of the toss.
“Riki got a good ball early on, but I don’t think we batted very well at all," he said.
"We didn’t look for the pockets, which they did well. All credit to Durham, they played well and were better than us but we made it difficult for ourselves.
“We prepared really well and obviously played really well last night but we didn’t play so well today.
"It has pretty much been the story of our season so far. We’ve either played really well or been really poor.
"I think the bottom line is we’ve got six games to go in the group and if we win four or five we’ll get through to the quarter final,” added Mullaney.
“We’ve got nobody else to blame; nobody else feels sorry for you in this sport. We’ve got to go away, have a couple of days to refresh then come Thursday we’ve got to be ready to go against Derbyshire.”
Things started to go wrong for Notts from the second ball of the opening over when Riki Wessels (0) was helpless to prevent a lifting delivery from Chris Rushworth looping up for an easy catch.
Run-scoring was difficult from the off and only 29 came from the powerplay overs, which had also seen Will Fraine (8) and Tom Moores (16) depart cheaply.
Samit Patel (32) looked in good touch until lifting Paul Collingwood into the hands of Imran Tahir, who then celebrated a wicket of his own with a positive lbw decision against Billy Root (16).
Dan Christian (10) unluckily picked out deep backward square off Rimmington’s bowling, leaving his side on 97 for six.
Mullaney and Jake Libby plundered some valuable late runs, each hitting a maximum, in a stand of 35 from 22 balls.
Libby was left unbeaten on nine but Mullaney was run out from the final ball of the innings for 38.
Durham cantered to the finishing post, despite losing Ben Stokes for just 10, superbly yorked by Harry Gurney.
Mullaney’s fine individual day brought the wicket of Tom Latham (9) and eventually Clark tossed his wicket away by offering Ish Sodhi a simple caught and bowled offering.
Collingwood stood firm though and was joined by James Weighell, who closed out the contest with a six off Patel.
The defeat leaves Notts in fifth spot, on 8 points – with home matches against Derbyshire and Worcestershire to come in the next seven days.
It's Derby time! Notts Outlaws play local rivals Derbyshire Falcons under the lights of Trent Bridge on Thursday August 2 in the T20 Vitality Blast, from 6.30pm. Secure your seats here...