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Patel and Read keep Notts in touch

Samit Patel

Samit Patel top-scored with 75 as Notts set up a thrilling finish to the Group C title race with a tense victory over Durham

Samit Patel and Chris Read helped Nottinghamshire claim a three-run victory over Durham to set up a winner-takes-all clash with Warwickshire for a Clydesdale Bank 40 semi-final place.

Needing victory to maintain their push for top spot in Group C, Patel hit 75 and Read an unbeaten 51-ball 66 as Notts posted 257 for seven at Trent Bridge.

A third-wicket partnership of 86 between Gordon Muchall and Ben Harmison, who hit 47 and 46 respectively, set up a thrilling finish.

The visitors needed 18 off the final over from Darren Pattinson and five off the final ball, but Chris Rushworth could only force a single to mid-off as they finished on 254 for eight.

Pattinson ended with 3-70, but Ryan Sidebottom and Steven Mullaney, who claimed 3-45 and 2-24 respectively, starred with the ball for the hosts.

The Outlaws will go to Edgbaston on Saturday knowing victory will put them on course for a first one-day trophy since 1991.

Victory seemed unlikely today when, in the opening three overs, Alex Hales and Adam Vogues paid the price for poor decision making to be run out.

Samit Patel set about repairing the damage with younger brother Akhil, though, dominating their 95-run partnership.

That pushed the score on to 98 before the latter perished to Scott Borthwick, with Samit driving to extra-cover soon after.

Scott Elstone hit a useful 30 before he was stumped off Ian Blackwell, at which point Notts skipper Read combined with Mullaney to smash 57 runs in the batting powerplay.

The latter fell in the penultimate over, but not before lifting Notts to a competitive total.

Durham got their reply off to a flying start, racing to 65 in the first 10 overs for the loss of Phil Mustard and Mark Stoneman.

Harmison and Muchall opted to bat safely through the middle overs but were unable to accelerate when required, both falling to catches in the deep.

Ben Stokes clubbed three sixes in a 29-ball 39 to put the visitors back in the hunt, with Blackwell and Gareth Breese both caught on the boundary.

With Durham requiring 16 off the last four balls, Borthwick found a clever boundary before Rushworth hit a much-needed six over midwicket, but he failed to repeat the feat off the last ball.