147 for 9 (Whiteley 36, Carter 3-32) beat Nottinghamshire 146-5 (Hales 52, Duckett 49*, Ali 1-13) by one run
"You want everyone to hurt as much as you do. If you cut us in half we'd be green and gold."
Well there is really nothing like T20 Finals Day for a bit of gothic hyperbole and no one doubts Steven Mullaney's loyalty to Trent Bridge. Nottinghamshire's club captain has felt his team's pain as sharply as anyone this year and so one can easily imagine his utter agony when the Outlaws lost a game they should have coasted to an exultant Worcestershire team, some of whom seemed as surprised by the outcome as their devastated opponents.
Even in the slightly absurd world of T20 no one at Edgbaston could quite credit what they were seeing in this first semi-final and it will take a while for things to sink in at Trent Bridge.
Needing 11 to win with eight wickets in hand, Notts lost three batsmen in the penultimate over - one of them that of Mullaney, who was run out without facing a ball. No problem, you might think, given that the Outlaws then required only six off the final over, bowled by Wayne Parnell. A tie would do.
But having conceded 37 off his previous three overs, Parnell hit his lengths to the extent that Ben Duckett and Samit Patel managed only five before Duckett swished fruitlessly at the last ball and Ben Cox, standing up to the stumps, collected it brilliantly. Parnell raced off to the dug-out while Duckett sank to his knees and stayed there for a long minute. He may have wanted the Birmingham earth to swallow him up
Absolutely none of this had seemed likely, given that Worcestershire's total of 147 had seemed about 20 shy of par and Nottinghamshire's batsmen had gone about proving the justice of that contention.
Put at its simplest, the Rapids innings began with three sixes by Moeen Ali and ended with three more from the bat of Ross Whiteley. The middle overs were dominated by Riki Wessels' relatively restrained 34, his moderation necessitated by a steady haemorrhage of wickets, three of them taken by Matt Carter and two by Mullaney. All of which made Whiteley's late assault all the more necessary; no could match Moeen's aggression until he levied 16 runs off three balls from Mullaney and it had been left to Wessels to anchor the innings - always a curious term in the speedboat world of short-form cricket but valid all the same - in his 38-ball innings
Moeen had made 21 off nine balls, depositing his second delivery from Carter deep into the Chairman's Lounge at the Pavilion End. There were two more sixes, one off Harry Gurney measured at 92 metres, before he was bowled aiming an extravagant sweep at a 60mph off-spinner from Carter. At that pace though, flight and grip had little to do with the dismissal. Whiteley managed 36 off 24 balls before he became one of Gurney's two late victims.
Not many folk thought 147 would be enough and even that plucky caucus was reduced once Chris Nash had taken 18 runs off Parnell's second over of the innings. Nash has been given licence to whack it and he made 24 off 16 balls before he was caught at square leg by Daryl Mitchell off Ed Barnard. But any thoughts this might prompt the steady loss of wickets suffered by Worcestershire were quickly dispelled by Alex Hales and Duckett, who gauged the pace of the pitch - slow but hardly sticky - before getting out the ramps, the reverse sweeps and other strokes from T20's palace of varieties.
The pair had added 49 when Hales was caught by Cox off Moeen for a 42-ball 52, but that wicket fell in the offspinner's last over and the task of preventing the Outlaws scoring 45 runs off six overs fell to the rest of the skipper's seven-man attack. Parnell bowled at over 80mph but his deliveries came off the bat at a similar velocity
Then Dan Christian fell to Pat Brown in the penultimate over of the innings and Moores was caught at long on by Wessles three balls later. Next ball Mullaney was run out and the level of tension in the Nottinghamshire camp was cranked up about a dozen notches.
Parnell was entrusted with the final over of the innings and what happened next will haunt this winter by the Trent. Having won none of their championship games, Notts were hoping this day would rescue their season, Instead of which they face a short journey home before having the chance to watch the final on TV. You may be assured they will not do so.