Worcestershire achieved their first win of the blast by 13 runs, thanks to some fine death bowling from John Hastings. Hastings (3-31) did not bowl until the 14th over in what was a change of plan from the Rapids to hold their star bowler back until the back end of the innings.
Joe Clarke (60) continued his fine form in this year’s blast with a 22-ball fifty inside the first six overs. With Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s move up to Yorkshire, the 21-year-old has certainly stepped up in his new role at the top of the order, getting his side off to a flier once more. Clarke took 28 off Luke Wood’s second over, including three sixes.
Worcestershire were well placed at 75-1 after seven but preceded to lose four wickets in the next five overs, to end the 12th precariously placed on 107-5. Clarke, Cox (9), Hastings (9), and D’Oliveira (3) all fell before Santner (35) and Whiteley (42) got the Rapids back on track with a partnership of 60 in just 4.2 overs.
Whiteley amassed another five sixes to follow up his stunning performance against Yorkshire at the weekend. It was another left-arm bowler, Harry Gurney, who bore the brunt of Whiteley’s power, taking 22 of his second over.
The Outlaws were able to take wickets at regular intervals as Jake Ball (3-34) and Samit Patel (1-27) were the stars with the ball. The ninth wicket pair of Barnard and Shantry took 16 off the last over to take their side past the 200 mark to finish on 208-8.
In reply Nottinghamshire also got off to a flier, thanks to an opening stand of 92 in 7.2 overs from Alex Hales (63) and Riki Wessels (49). 58 of Hales’ runs came from boundaries during a stunning opening burst.
The back of the chase was not quite broken, however, and the Outlaws stagnated somewhat during the middle overs. The Outlaws would still have been confident of chasing 66 off the final five overs, given the power of their batting line-up, but Hastings accounted for Patel (10), Christian (4), and Wessels (49) to put his side in the ascendancy.
Tom Moores (26*) gave his side hope with a useful cameo, but the equation eventually proving too much. Worcestershire closed out the win and by doing so, open their account in this year’s blast.