The Outlaws won by nine wickets with four overs to spare at Chester-le-Street against an inexperienced side who, after five games, remain on minus four points.
Being obliged to start with that four-point deficit cannot have helped the morale of a side shorn of five players from the team which reached last year’s final.
All out for 123 with 11 balls unused, there was no attempt to exert pressure as 18-year-old debut boy Liam Trevaskis was asked to bowl the first over and Alex Hales hit the left-arm spinner for two fours.
When Durham’s T20 skipper Paul Coughlin came on for the third over Hales twice drove him straight down the ground.
With 15 coming off the over Hales set about finishing it as quickly as possible, only to be bowled for 44 when going down the pitch to Trevaskis in the seventh over.
There were already 69 on the board and Riki Wessels was able to continue his good form by coasting to an unbeaten 49. Brendan Taylor finished the match with a six over long-on off Ryan Pringle to finish on 33.
Any chance of a contest looked remote from the moment Durham slipped to eight for two after ten balls. They were briefly revived by Graham Clark with 41 off 27 balls, but from 54 for two Durham slipped to 65 for six with Samit Patel picking up three wickets.
On the day he was awarded a full contract until the end of the 2019 season, Cameron Steel cut the first ball of the match, from Patel, for four. But after adding two singles he lifted left-arm seamer Luke Wood’s first ball to extra cover.
Paul Collingwood was moved up to No 3 but fell for nought, skying a pull off Wood to backward square leg.
Clark cut, pulled and drove three fours in taking 15 off the first five balls of a Jake Ball over, only for Michael Richardson to bottom edge the sixth into his stumps.
Patel was recalled and had Clark caught behind when aiming to leg. Jack Burnham’s fierce drive to extra cover was well held above his head by Dan Christian then Stuart Poynter played all round Patel’s next ball.
Coughlin and Pringle could afford few risks but did well to add 39 before Pringle pulled Steven Mullaney straight to deep backward square.
Smart work saw Coughlin run out and Barry McCarthy stumped by Tom Moores off Ish Sodi before last man Chris Rushworth lofted to mid-off.
It was a tame end to a stuttering innings, leaving Nottinghamshire with a simple task to complete their third successive win.