Notts Outlaws slipped to their first defeat of the Royal London One-Day Cup competition when they went down by five wickets to Worcestershire Rapids at Blackfinch New Road.
Chris Nash made 51 as the Outlaws were bowled out for only 121 in 32 overs after winning the toss and choosing to bat. Wayne Parnell was the chief tormentor, taking five for 24.
Worcestershire’s progress was momentarily stalled by the delayed lunch-break, but this didn’t prevent them from reaching their target with just shy of half of their overs remaining.
Tom Fell was unbeaten on 48 as the home county reached their target before 3.30pm.
Peter Moores said there wasn’t much point analysing too much of the defeat to Worcestershire Rapids on Friday, adding that ‘it was a bad day at the office all-round'.
“It’s a bit of a reality check,” he said. “All sport is designed like that. I don’t think we took our eye off the ball; I just don’t think we played well enough.”
Despite the defeat Moores’ side remain top of the North Group with two matches remaining.
“We haven’t just played well in the first five games, we’ve played very, very well with the bat,” he said.
“But we didn’t bat well enough today. We made a few changes and it was a tough pitch to bat on, but batting first was the right thing to do.
“All credit to them, we had a bad day, pretty much all-round. It didn’t really happen for us. We’ve got to take this on the chin. We are still top of the group and its still completely within our control.”
Moores also gave an update on Paul Coughlin, after the all-rounder was forced to retire hurt when batting.
“That’s probably the toughest one of the day. He’s not been assessed yet. He’s on the bed. It looks like a bad hamstring pull, but he’ll get a scan tomorrow," he said.
"You just feel for him because he obviously injured his shoulder at the end of the Lions trip, then came back and broke his finger, a bit of a freak one, and now first one back again and he’s done his hamstring.
“Things come in threes and we hope he’s got them all out of the way now.”
The Notts starting eleven included Lyndon James, making his one-day debut, and Paul Coughlin, appearing in this competition for the first time for the Outlaws. Luke Wood, who had a loan spell at Blackfinch New Road last year, also returned to the starting line-up.
Nash and Joe Clarke started brightly but were parted after putting on 25 together, with the former Worcestershire man being given out lbw for nine.
Neither James nor Jake Libby got off the mark as the visitors slipped to 31 for three.
Samit Patel combined with Nash to rebuild the score but was then one of three victims of Parnell in a dramatic 16thover.
Patel mistimed a pull off the South African, who then bowled Steven Mullaney and Tom Moores, all within the space of six balls.
Coughlin blazed a huge six into the stands off Brett D’Oliveira before he was forced to retire hurt on 11 with a leg injury.
Nash had reached his 50 from 66 balls, with six fours, but departed one delivery later to leave the score on 86 for seven.
Matt Carter (7), Luke Wood (17 not out) and Jake Ball (14) muscled some lower order runs, but the end came with 18 overs unused.
Wood gave the travelling supporters some cause for optimism by dismissing former teammate Riki Wessels for 18 and Callum Ferguson for 13, but 32 more runs were on the board by the time Notts struck again.
Patel’s first over induced Daryl Mitchell to chip to mid on and D’Oliveira was run out first ball.
Those successive breakthroughs left the board on 75 for four. With some gentle rain falling and the duckworth/lewis target within sight, Wood put down Fell on 27 at mid-on.
Lunch was taken with only 29 runs required and Notts were given a further temporary boost when George Rhodes ran himself out two balls after the resumption.
Ross Whiteley wasted little time in reducing the target to single digits, blasting two fours as soon as he arrived in the middle.
Notts remain top of the North Group with two matches remaining, the first of which is against Durham at Grantham on Friday.
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