T20 Blast Finals Day: Worcestershire Rapids beat Notts Outlaws by one run in semi

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Rapids beat Outlaws in final-ball thriller
Vitality Blast semi-final, Edgbaston
Worestershire 147-9 (20 overs): Whiteley 36; Carter 3-32
Notts Outlaws 146-5 (20 overs): Hales 52; Brown 2-21
Worcestershire Rapids beat Notts Outlaws by one run
Scorecard

Holders Worcestershire Rapids sensationally won the clash of the last two T20 Blast Finals Day winners as they beat Notts Outlaws off the last ball to book their place in this year's final.

Ross Whiteley (36) and Riki Wessels (34) helped Worcestershire post 147-9.

Notts, led by Alex Hales' 52, then looked in control on 100-1 before imploding astonishingly.

Still needing only 11 off 12 balls, Pat Brown and Wayne Parnell kept the last two overs tight and Ben Duckett missed Parnell's final delivery as the Rapids won by one run.

Worcestershire will play the winner of the second semi-final between Derbyshire and Essex later on Saturday.

Notts appeared to be cruising to victory when after an opening stand of 51 from Hales and Chris Nash, Duckett kept the momentum going.

But to cap a brilliant spell of just 13 runs conceded in four overs, inspirational Rapids captain Moeen Ali, so often an Edgbaston matchwinner on his old home ground, had Hales caught behind.

Alex Hales Ben Cox
Alex Hales' dismissal for 52 saw Notts Outlaws' chase stall

Captain Dan Christian added a further 37 with Duckett but scoreboard pressure suddenly began to tell for the 2017 Edgbaston winners as they began to flap.

After Brown got rid of Christian and Tom Moores, Duckett ran out Steven Mullaney. And they began the last over still needing seven to win.

But, after conceding 37 off his first three overs, Parnell came back to keep his head when it mattered most, with dot balls off both the first and last deliveries.

In Worcestershire's innings, despite the early loss of overseas signing Hamish Rutherford, they had appeared to be cruising themselves at 40-1 after four overs, Moeen having come in to slap three quick sixes.

But the Birmingham-born former Bear was bowled around his legs sweeping, the first of three wickets for spinner Matt Carter.

And when Notts skipper Mullaney removed Parnell to end a 36-run stand with Wessels, that began a clatter of five wickets for 21 in 31 balls.

Daryl Mitchell's arrival at the crease at least gave big-hitting Whiteley support to smash a few late sixes, while there was even one late maximum over long on for Mitchell himself.

Defending only 148 never looked enough if Nash and Hales were to play like they did in the quarter-final against Middlesex when they took Notts to 165-0 and victory in the 17th over.

But, although the Notts openers did, it was not for long enough this time as Worcestershire pulled off one of T20 cricket's most startling victories.

To top off an astonishing display of great coolness and calm, Worcestershire beat a Notts side containing two of last year's winning Rapids team, the then on-loan Luke Wood and winter signing Joe Clarke, who other than running out former team-mate Ed Barnard earlier, remained bizarrely unused during their reply.

Worcs 'looked dead and buried' - reaction

Worcestershire first team coach Alex Gidman told BBC Sport:

"That probably just shades our last-ball win against Durham in the group stages as the most exciting win I've seen. It was an amazing effort.

"I must admit that, with two overs left, we looked dead and buried. But those last two overs were pretty special.

"The important thing was that we stayed in the game as long as possible and then Moeen had a gut feeling for Wayne Parnell to bowl that last over.

"I don't think what had happened before had any relevance in that situation. Wayne knew what to do and he executed it brilliantly."

Nottinghamshire head coach Peter Moores told BBC Sport:

"That is as gutting a loss as I can remember. It's quite difficult to explain. I can't ever remember a game like that before.

"Ben Duckett, who played brilliantly, is distraught that he couldn't get us over the line.

"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."

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