Nottinghamshire 148 for 7 (Clarke 50, Lyth 5-31) beat Yorkshire 145 for 7 (Lyth 48)
There are few trickier death bowlers in the Blast than Harry Gurney and Jordan Thompson now knows that more painfully than most. Three times in the last four balls, Thompson swung at Gurney and missed, giving Notts a three-run win to take them along with Lancashire into the quarter-finals of the Vitality Blast and eliminating Yorkshire in the process.
Gurney, who had been short of his best, had to defend 12 from the last over, and Yorkshire again were in the ascendancy when Will Fraine, playing against his former county, launched the first ball over long-on for six. But Fraine then fell at backward point and, although Thompson did middle one delivery to long-on for two, the dominant sound was a swishing and a cursing.
Luke Fletcher also played a fine hand at the death. His first two overs had leaked 25, but a fine boundary-saving pounce at short fine allowed him to begin the 19th over with Yorkshire still needing 18 off the last two overs. He yorked Jack Leaning with his first ball and Tim Bresnan with his last to send emergency signals blaring in what had always been a tightly-judged chase.
Trent Bridge was packed almost to capacity as nearly 14,000 turned up on a baking summer's day to see Notts reach the last eight, but much of the Notts innings was little more than a backdrop because for all but the most ardent supporter it was inevitable that thoughts would stray to Headingley.
The biggest ovation of the day came when Notts were 76 for 2, not because of anything before their eyes, but for news of an astounding victory at Headingley where Ben Stokes had added a heroic Ashes innings to his exploits in the World Cup final to confirm himself as one of the greats of the game. Trent Bridge felt like a part of a great cricketing family.
"It got a little bit interesting for me when they hit six off the first ball of the final over but I'm always confident when you've got double figures to defend in the last over," Gurney said. "I'm not sure we'll be grabbing the back pages tomorrow but we're all England fans in our dressing room apart from Dan Christian - and he's getting plenty of stick."
On a slow, low Nottingham surface, nobody was thinking much about greatness. Until a thrilling climax, it was a largely desultory afternoon on a sluggish pitch in 30C heat when adequacy was hard enough and slow bowlers held sway.
Notts laboured for most of their innings. Joe Clarke's half-century held them together even though he was not at his most fluent and was dropped on 3 - he did not field later because of cramp. When Clarke and Tom Moores fell to Lyth in successive balls, Notts had declined to 99 for 5 off 16, but posted 148 for 7 with 43 coming off the last three overs.
Perhaps Christian, Notts' Australian captain, had been working off a bit of Stokes-derived frustration. His unbeaten 31 from 16 balls shook Notts into some sort of order, 16 of three balls off David Willey in the 18th over finally achieving an impetus they had struggled to achieve. Fletcher's six off the penultimate ball, from Lyth, was another decisive intervention from the big fella before Lyth had him caught in the deep from the last ball to return startling figures of 5 for 31.
Lyth's all-round prowess with bat and ball might not have been the most obvious route for Yorkshire to have sought to revive their Blast season, but he produced one of the best bat-and-ball displays in the county's T20 history.
He had only taken 10 T20 wickets in 110 previous appearances before he stepped out at Trent Bridge, but his gently-flighted offspin suddenly seemed to have taken on new guile. He later struck 48 from 51 balls in orderly fashion before he squirted a back-of-the-hand delivery from Gurney to backward point. With Yorkshire needing 49 from 38 with seven wickets left he had cause to hope he had done enough.
Yorkshire's T20 season has adopted many forms this summer, few of them convincing, but this was the second time in a week that an unsung offspinner made a striking intervention. Five wickets for Jack Shutt at Chester-le-Street had helped them beat Durham three days earlier, a match in which Lyth also picked up three.
"We should have got over the line but credit to Notts, they grind those sorts of results out on their own patch and we crumbled a bit under the pressure at the end," said Yorkshire's coach, Andrew Gale. "I think 85 percent of the game we played some smart cricket.
"That sums up our one-day cricket, we can't get over the line. We've tied three games and lost by a run in one of them and until we stand and take responsibility in key moments under pressure then we are where we are."
Three runs was another tight margin and Gale's frustration was understandable, but it only told half the story. Yorkshire are now nearer to solving their perennial shortcomings in T20 cricket and, outside their top three, they lack star quality.
Three runs or not, that it was Notts who proceeded to the last eight felt entirely appropriate.