Head coach Peter Moores said he couldn’t remember a game like it as dejected Notts Outlaws endured a nightmare at the T20 Blast All Finals Day.
The Outlaws, the 2017 champions, looked on course for a place in the final when they reached 137 for 2 from 18 overs as they chased Worcestershire Rapids’ 147 for 9.
But then the reply fell apart as the 2018 winners pulled off an unlikely victory when the Outlaws’ Ben Duckett failed to score off the final ball to lose the semi-final by one run.
It capped a miserable week for Notts after their relegation from Division One in the County Championship.
Moores said: “I can’t remember a game like that, it’s difficult to explain. It’s as gutting a loss as I can remember.
“With a couple of overs to go it felt like we couldn’t lose but Worcestershire, to their credit, bowled brilliantly.
“In those situations you trust the players in the middle. We knew one more boundary in those last couple of overs would have been enough and Ben, who played brilliantly, is distraught he couldn’t get us over the line.”
Pat Brown claimed two wickets in the 19th over — Dan Christian went for 15 and Tom Moores for one — before Steven Mullaney was run out as just four runs were scored.
With seven needed from the final over — and six runs and a tie would have been enough for the Outlaws to go through to the final — Samit Patel and Duckett (49 not out) just fell short.
Patel missed the first ball and then ran one off the second. Duckett collected another single and Patel chipped into the leg side for two to leave the Outlaws needing three from two to win — or two from two to claim the draw.
Patel then grabbed another single, but Duckett, who had batted so well, missed the final ball.
Earlier in the run chase Alex Hales hit a half-century — striking 52 from 42 balls, including four fours and two sixes.
The Rapids’ never got away from the disciplined Outlaws bowlers with Matthew Carter (3 for 32) Mullaney (2 for 32) and Harry Gurney (2 for 27) taking the wickets.