By Matthew Sherry
Notts Outlaws cruised into the final of the Yorkshire Bank 40 with a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over Somerset at Trent Bridge.
The Outlaws have been one of the competition’s outstanding teams this season having won nine of their 12 group games.
And they emphatically booked a clash with Glamorgan in the Lord’s finale following a dismal batting performance from the visitors.
Indeed, Somerset – for whom that discipline has been a staple in recent years – were often the architects of their own downfall.
While Jake Ball impressed with 4-25, some inauspicious shots denoted a unit devoid of the confidence with which they have played in recent times.
Only Peter Trego, the individual star of this year’s tournament, managed to make a score of note, his 40 ultimately proving in vain as the visitors were skittled for 119 in 25.4 overs.
The subsequent target of 120 proved no obstacle for a star-studded home line-up, Michael Lumb striking 46 and Samit Patel 43 not out to seal a comfortable triumph.
"It was a fantastic performance," said home skipper Chris Read. "When you win games that comfortably, it probably detracts from the work that goes into it.
"I think that is our all-round best bowling performance of the season. And what a time to pull it out."
"White ball trophies have eluded us for a long time now but to get the chance to go to Lord's and lift the trophy, we'll be giving it everything."
Notts’ decision bat first looks inspired on paper; however, in reality, it was made with the potential for further rain in mind, for there were no demons in the surface.
The tone for a poor visiting batting display was set in the first over when Marcus Trescothick, who has been short of his brilliant best this season, perished to a fine Harry Gurney delivery that moved away and caught a thin edge.
It was a scalp that actually heralded a brief period of joy for Trescothick’s men.
Amid Trego looking in good touch, Craig Kieswetter prospered in a cameo of 22 highlighted by a couple of lusty sixes over cover.
Immediately following the second of those, though, he fell when feathering an attempted pull off an Ajmal Shahzad long-hop behind.
Kieswetter’s departure was to prove crucial as none of his colleagues threatened to show similar confidence.
Nick Compton was caught at cover attempting a big shot off Steven Mullaney, who took return catches off Trego and Lewis Gregory after Ball had castled James Hildreth heaving across the line.
The remaining wickets fell quickly thereafter, Ball leading the way as Somerset’s lower order collapsed in the same manner as their more distinguished colleagues.
Despite losing opening partner Alex Hales lbw to Steve Kirby early in the reply, Lumb prospered initially with a series of punchy strokes between mid-on and cover.
A half-century would have been richly deserved but it was not to be as he edged behind looking to cut Jamie Overton.
Patel quickly picked up the baton and, with James Taylor looking cool en route to 20 not out, played some glorious strokes to seal Notts’ passage to their first Lord's final since 1989.
Live Text Commentary
8:17pm - NOTTS OUTLAWS WIN BY EIGHT WICKETS AND REACH THE YORKSHIRE BANK 40 FINAL - Taylor and Patel comfortably see their side to victory, the former ending on 20 and the latter 43.
8:09pm - Patel continues to thrive while Taylor ticks things over with some good running. The upshot is Notts being a mere 25 runs from victory.
7:55pm - Samit Patel picks up where Lumb left off, striking two off-side fours off Craig Meschede.
7:48pm - WICKET! Lumb c Kieswetter b Overton 46; Notts 62/2 - Having driven and pulled fours earlier in the over, Lumb edges an attempted cut behind off Jamie Overton.
7:45pm - Lumb is looking in really sparkling form at the moment. He has put Notts in position to seal a comfortable victory.
7:33pm - Amid James Taylor settling in, Lumb adds further boundaries with a couple of crunching straight drives.
7:25pm - Glorious stroke from Lumb, who eases Alfonso Thomas through cover for four.
7:13pm - WICKET! Hales lbw Kirby 5; Notts 11/1 - Wickets continue to tumble. Steve Kirby, having been harshly given out when batting at number 11, gets one in his favour. Hales is the man to go despite the ball looking likely to miss leg stump.
7:09pm - The precipitation quickly stops and play will resume imminently. I cannot imagine Notts will risk needing the reserve day...
7:04pm - RAIN STOPS PLAY! - There's no chance of that now! The downpour is a little heavier and on come the covers.
7:03pm - That's the way to do it! Michael Lumb confidently drives Peter Trego to the boundary. With some steady rain falling, I cannot help but think he and Alex Hales will be ultra-positive.
6:42pm - WICKET! Kirby lbw Shahzad 0; Somerset 119 all out - That's that then. Steve Kirby is given lbw, albeit with the ball seemingly heading down leg, to end a miserable innings for Somerset.
6:37pm - WICKET! Overton lbw Ball 0; Somerset 116/9 - Ball is on a hat-trick; Jamie Overton is the latest to fall lbw, rapped on the foot by a yorker.
6:35pm - WICKET! Thomas lbw Ball 1; Somerset 116/8 - Well, this is quite remarkable. Ball nips one back at Alfonso Thomas, who is trapped plumb lbw.
6:28pm - WICKET! Chawla c Read b Ball 1; Somerset 112/7 - Somerset are folding like a pack of cards. Piyush Chawla is the latest man to go, feathering Ball behind.
6:22pm - WICKET! Gregory c & b Mullaney 12; Somerset 102/6 - It's been a while since the last non-wicket update! Lewis Gregory cannot repair the damage as he, too, sees Mullaney claim a return catch.
6:13pm - WICKET! Trego c & b Mullaney 40; Somerset 91/5 - Somerset are really faltering on a good pitch. Trego, having played well, chips one back to Mullaney.
5:59pm - WICKET! Hildreth b Ball 5; Somerset 73/4 - Things go from bad to worse for the visitors as Hildreth is bowled by Ball hitting across the line.
5:45pm - WICKET! Compton c Hussey b Mullaney 14; Somerset 62/3 - Another one bites the dust! After Trego and Compton pick up four apiece off Steven Mullaney, the latter perishes later in the over attempting a big hit, David Hussey claiming a fine catch over his shoulder at cover.
5:40pm - A rebuilding effort is being undertaken by Nick Compton and Trego now. This is a crucial period.
5:25pm - WICKET! Kieswetter c Reid b Shahzad 22; Somerset 39/2 - And now he's gone. The ball after his six, he nicks an attempted pull off a Shahzad long hop behind.
5:24pm - Kieswetter is clicking into gear now, crunching maximums over cover off Jake Ball and Ajmal Shahzad either side of hitting the latter for a straight four.
5:14pm - A couple of crunching blows through the off side bring a boundary apiece for Craig Kieswetter and Peter Trego.
5:01pm - WICKET! Trescothick c Read b Gurney 0; Somerset 0/1 - What a start for the hosts! Harry Gurney, in the game's first over, nips one away from Marcus Trescothick - who feathers behind.
4:46pm - NOTTS WIN TOSS & BOWL - Notts opt to chase on home soil as they target a meeting with Glamorgan in the final.
4:35pm - It will be a 35-overs-per-side contest.
4:30pm - Some actual news on play now: play will begin in half an hour, with the toss taking place at 4:45pm.
4:08pm - The rain has stopped and there could be an inspection in just over 15 minutes. It's worth noting, too, that there is a reserve day tomorrow.
3:43pm - I'm afraid the early news is bad: it's raining in Nottingham. We'll keep you abreast of any developments but let's hope it stops.
3:30pm - Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Yorkshire Bank 40 semi-final between Notts Outlaws and Somerset at Trent Bridge.