Notts Outlaws were defeated in their second NatWest T20 Blast match of the season, when they went down by 24 runs to Worcestershire Rapids at Trent Bridge.

Set to score 164, the Outlaws could make only 139-9 in reply , with the only significant contributions coming from Samit Patel (41) and Alex Hales (39).

Put in, after James Taylor won the toss, the visitors made 163-6 from their 20 overs, with Alex Kervezee (43) and Ross Whiteley (34) combining in a stand of 62 after Moeen Ali (28) and Colin Munro (31) had given the innings a flying start. Both Andy Carter (2-21) and Ajmal Shahzad (2-31) impressed with the ball.

The Outlaws starting line-up showed only one change from that which defeated Lancashire a week earlier, with Luke Fletcher replacing Harry Gurney, who was absent through England duty.

Worcestershire opened with Moeen Ali and Richard Oliver and it was Ali who got the innings off to a perfect start by punching Luke Fletcher for boundaries through the off side, from the first two balls of the match. A single then gave Oliver (4) the chance to follow suit but the sixth ball of the game was speared into the base of the stumps for a much-needed breakthrough.

Ali, omitted from the England ODI side 24 hours earlier, continued his impressive start by plundering Ajmal Shahzad’s initial delivery straight down the ground for four more.

Fletcher and Carter at least prevented the side from being bowled out but it was small consolation as the Rapids were able to celebrate a deserved success.

Andy Carter’s first over went for 9 but he did also pick up the second wicket of the evening, with Daryl Mitchell feathering an attempted square cut behind to Chris Read for 6.

In both of their previous T20 visits to Trent Bridge Ali had scored half centuries (67 in 2010 and 51 in 2011) but this time his aggressive start was curtailed on 28 (from 20 balls), largely down to his own doing. Early on his pull, he spooned high to Riki Wessels at cover to give Carter his second scalp.

In front of a crowd of 6,987, Notts weren’t able to dwell on their success. New Zealand international Colin Munro greeted Samit Patel’s introduction into the attack in a violent frame of mind.

The all-rounder, playing his 100th t20 game for Notts – the first player to do so – went for 20 in what turned out to be his only over, with Munro hitting sixes from his first, second and sixth deliveries. The final one of the three was actually caught by Wessels at long on – but he was over the line and failed in his attempt to deflect the ball back into play.

Alex Kervezee helped Munro add 45 runs in 5.1 overs before Sam Wood came on to pick up a vital wicket. Munro (31 from 22 balls) tried a reverse slog and hoisted the ball high behind the stumps where Carter made up good ground to complete an excellent sliding catch.

The dismissal was Wood’s maiden domestic T20 scalp, although he has been a feature of the sides that have played in tournament wins in Dubai and Barbados in recent pre-seasons.

Ross Whiteley, former Derbyshire man, arrived at the crease and wasted little time in tonking Wood over the ropes in front of the Radcliffe Road Stand to advance the score to 105-4 (13).

The same outcome materialised in Wood’s next over as the rate soared to 8.5 runs per over.

Whiteley and Kervezee blazed beyond their 50 stand and brought up the team 150 at the start of the 18th over but the over ended with four successive dot balls by the impressive Carter.

Shahzad had bowled well again, without any reward, until the 19th over of the innings when he claimed two wickets in two balls to remove both Kervezee (ct by Wessels for 43) and Whiteley (bowled for 34) to end with figures of 4-0-31-2.

Ben Cox and Brett D’Oliveira were unable to get much change out of Carter’s final over as he finished with 4-0-21-2.

In pursuit of 164 Alex Hales and Michael Lumb began the Outlaws’ reply with light drizzle falling. The innings began in similar fashion with Hales caressing the first ball, from Ali, smoothly through the off side for four.

Hales, who played a championship match for Worcestershire a fortnight ago, got into his stride with an elegant punch down the ground off Chris Russell in the third over.

The same over saw Russell carelessly over-step and the free hit was smited low and hard over the ropes for six in front of the New Stand.

Michael Lumb (1) was easily caught by Brett D’Oliveira off Jack Shantry’s bowling in the fourth,

Saeed Ajmal, fresh from collecting match figures of 13-94 in the recently-concluded championship win over Essex, was thrust into the attack as early as the fifth over but was greeted by an attacking James Taylor, who put him back over his head for four.

Taylor (12) was then run out by a direct hit from bowler Jack Shantry – bringing Samit Patel to the crease.

The pair added a run-a-ball 27 before Worcs struck a huge blow by removing Hales (39) as he played around a full delivery from Ali. Patel gained a modicum of revenge for his team-mate by hitting the same bowler for a six and a four out towards the Hound Road Stand.

A fluent start from Riki Wessels (18) was brought to an abrupt end as he chipped D’Oliveira into the hands of Whiteley at long off.

On 20 Patel became the first Outlaws’ batsman to reach 2,000 runs in domestic t20 matches and it became increasingly clear that Notts’ hopes of a win lay with him.

Those thoughts intensified when Read (5) hit Ajmal to Ali in the deep to leave the home side floundering on 116-5 in the 16th over.

Steven Mullaney (0), who earlier had bowled four tidy overs for 30, pulled his second ball to deep midwicket, off Russell, who then bowled Sam Wood (0) second ball.

Patel’s heroics ended in the 18th over as he sliced Ajmal to short third man for 41 and Shahzad (2) followed, giving Russell figures of 3-32.

Fletcher and Carter at least prevented the side from being bowled out but it was small consolation as the Rapids were able to celebrate a deserved success.

The victory was Worcestershire’s first over Notts in t20, having lost all of their previous four meetings. It also gave the Rapids’ a badly-needed first success of this campaign having lost twice over the previous weekend. 

Notts Outlaws play their third match in the NatWest T20 Blast next Friday evening, when they host Durham Jets at Trent Bridge.

Notts Outlaws NatWest T20 Blast fixture and ticket information:

v Durham Jets – Friday 30 May 6pm BUY TICKETS
v Birmingham Bears – Friday 13 June 6pm BUY TICKETS
v Derbyshire Falcons – Friday 20 June 6pm BUY TICKETS
v Yorkshire Vikings – Saturday 28 June 2.30pm BUY TICKETS
v Leicestershire Foxes – Sunday 20 July 2.30pm BUY TICKETS

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