One-Day Cup: Notts chase down record 371 target to beat Essex in semi-final
|Royal London One-Day Cup, Cloudfm County Ground|
|Essex 370-5 (50 overs): Cook 133, Ten Doeschate 102*; Patel 2-51|
|Nottinghamshire 373-5 (49.3 overs): Patel 122*, Mullaney 111; Porter 3-56|
|Notts beat Essex by five wickets|
Nottinghamshire chased down an English 50-over record target of 371 to beat Essex by five wickets and reach the One-Day Cup final in a remarkable game.
Essex made 370-5 at Chelmsford with centuries from Ryan ten Doeschate and Alastair Cook, but hundreds from Samit Patel (122 not out) and Steven Mullaney (111) guided the visitors to 373-5.
The pair put on 185 in 23.4 overs in a devastating display of power hitting.
Notts will play Worcestershire or Surrey in the Lord's final on 1 July.
Nottinghamshire cruised past the previous-highest successful run chase - Hampshire's 359-8 against Surrey in 2005 - smashing 40 fours and seven sixes in their innings.
While experienced all-rounder Patel crafted his 123-ball knock, Mullaney attacked from the outset, bringing up his maiden List A hundred off 71 deliveries with the fifth of his six maximums.
The 30-year-old arrived at the crease at 180-4 following a calamitous run out of Brendan Taylor for 62, which saw the Zimbabwean and Patel stranded at the same end following a mix-up.
It was all Nottinghamshire from then on as Essex fell apart in the field, summed up by Paul Walter dropping a simple catch to dismiss Patel with 16 needed off 14 balls.
Patel was also given a life a few overs earlier when Ravi Bopara appeared to cling onto a low chance in the deep, but it was given not out because of doubt over whether the ball bounced first.
Mullaney edged Neil Wagner behind in the penultimate over, but the damage had already been done and Notts got over the line with three balls to spare.
Earlier, the hosts had piled up their fourth-highest List A score - anchored by Cook's 12th one-day century and a 64-ball hundred from captain Ten Doeschate.
But, in a day which saw 743 runs scored and four batsmen hitting centuries, Nottinghamshire produced one of the finest run chases in limited-overs history to reach the final.
Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate told BBC Essex:
"I really don't have words to describe how I feel and I think the whole team feel the same way.
"I'd like to start again by winding the clock back three and a half hours. At that point, you'd think there is no way you could lose that game. I don't think we could have batted much better.
"With the ball, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered and reviewed. The guys who have led the line before, Harmer and Wagner, weren't maybe as effective and maybe I got a few things wrong with changing them around.
"You need to be smart and keep your composure. As much as it was a good wicket, bowlers who banged it in and kept bowling straight were successful. We could have bowled a lot better than we did."
Notts century-maker Steven Mullaney told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"A day out at Lord's. What more would you want from a one-day season?
"Within five days we have played on two of the best one-day pitches I've ever played on. It was a great pitch. Credit to Essex for putting on that pitch and putting on a fantastic day's cricket.
"I've got some added responsibility coming in at five until Alex Hales came back, then I was in at six. But that is the most nervous I've been, needing just six off 10 balls, then getting down to the last four balls.
"I don't care who we get in the final. They are both great teams and both pose an equal amount of threat. But we're confident of taking anyone at the minute."