Nottinghamshire coach Mick Newell believes his players have given themselves a good opportunity to progress in the Clydesdale Bank 40 after their hard-fought win against Somerset.
The Green and Golds replaced their hosts at the top of Group C with a three-wicket victory under the Duckworth-Lewis system at Taunton.
Set a twice revised target of 143 in 19 overs of a rain-affected match they reached their target with one ball to spare, thanks to Steve Mullaney’s 50 off 30 balls and 42 from captain Chris Read.
They are now two points clear of Somerset, who dumped them out of the Friends Life t20 early this month, having played two games more.
And Newell was delighted with the performance of his team – and Mullaney in particular – in trying circumstances.
He said: “It was a long old day and the weather was difficult so it was very pleasing to get the win. It’s never an easy place to go to as they’re a fairly vociferous, one-sided crowd and I thought we showed a lot of composure.
“Steve has been asking for more of an opportunity in 40-over cricket as he has been batting down at number seven and he hit the ball very nicely.
“I don’t see it as revenge for the t20. Somerset are a very good side in all forms of the game so it was about hanging in there and getting the result. Every time you beat them you have to play very well to do so. We did that and we’ve now given ourselves a fighting chance of qualifying.”
Read built on the foundations laid by Mullaney when the opener was run out by a direct hit from Marcus Trescothick at backward point.
He then took the visitors to the brink of victory, riding his luck when he was put down in the deep by George Dockrell.
After finally falling to a James Hildreth catch off the bowling of Alfonso Thomas, it was left to former Somerset player Ben Phillips to hit the winning runs with successive boundaries in the final over.
Newell added: “On the rare occasions he’s had a bat for us this season, Ben has done very well. He hits the ball hard and he hits it down the ground so it was unusual to see him find the boundary behind square, but fair play to him.
“He’s an intelligent cricketer and it’s pleasing to see him and the other lads producing a result like that against a good team in those conditions.”
Somerset have three games to go in Group C against Unicorns, Gloucestershire and Essex, whilst Notts take on Lancashire at Trent Bridge in their remaining fixture.