Alex Hales struck a brutal 82 as Nottinghamshire overcame Lancashire by 60 runs in a rain-hit Friends Life t20 clash at Trent Bridge - beating their opponents to a home quarter-final in the process.
Visiting captain Glen Chapple asked the hosts to bat first having won the toss but the decision looked less than shrewd as Hales and one-time England team-mate Michael Lumb opened up aggressively.
The pair shared a quick-fire first-wicket stand of 59 before Lumb (30) departed to Chapple - but after being dropped on 20, Hales played some outrageous shots with valuable if unspectacular support from Samit Patel (13), David Hussey (10) and Riki Wessels (22).
The opener had hit three sixes in a row off Tom Smith in his innings and although the bowler eventually exacted revenge via a brilliant run out, the damage was done as Hales' heroics helped the Outlaws post 194-6.
The Red Rose reply got off to the worst possible start when Stephen Moore chipped the first ball of the innings straight back to bowler Patel, and the England all-rounder struck again to remove Karl Brown soon afterwards.
Smith (22) and Steven Croft (23) shared a promising third-wicket stand of 33, but once the former had been sent back by an impressive Steven Mullaney catch at long-off and Croft followed him lbw, Lancashire were back on the ropes.
Graeme White took the crucial wicket of Simon Katich with a tame caught-and-bowled, and the visitors headed to the pavilion under a brief rain shower teetering on 87-6.
White wrapped up an excellent five-for when he clean-bowled Chapple after the resumption and bar Ashwell Prince's carefully-crafted 27, the Lightning batsmen surrendered with little resistance from thereon in.