Jake Ball admitted he “barely had time for a cup of tea” as Notts Outlaws demolished Worcestershire Rapids in the Vitality Blast at Trent Bridge, Alex Hales and Joe Clarke chasing down 86 in 6.2 overs to hand the Green and Golds their fourth win of the season.

Ball recorded his best T20 figures – three for 17 – after Samit Patel had decimated the Rapids top order with the most economical spell in T20 Blast history, conceding just four runs and taking three wickets from his four overs.

“The way Samit started, and Fletch followed it up, it all snowballed from there,” the England international said. 

“Those first few overs really set the tone. It is something a lot of teams will talk about – how they can get into the game early – and it was great to watch Samit go about his business and get us off to such a good start.

“We got on a roll, and we played as close to a perfect game as we could.”

30-year-old Ball was pleased to be back firing for the Outlaws after a tricky start on his return from injury at the start of the competition.

He claimed his first wicket of the clash in the powerplay as Ben Cox tried to pull the right-armer but top-edged to Steven Mullaney at mid-off. 

“We got on a roll, and we played as close to a perfect game as we could.”

Jake Ball

His previous best figures – three for 27 against Warwickshire – were shattered in the penultimate over as he had Ed Barnard caught at long-off by Clarke and Ben Dwarshuis bowled with an inch-perfect yorker.

“I am getting there with my own performance,” Ball said.

“It is a hard format to find your feet in because it is so fast paced, and if you are slightly off then you get hit. 

“It has been a tough start for me but I am getting somewhere close to where I was last year.

“As a bowling unit, we showed what we can do – it isn’t just the batters who can win us games!”

Ball didn’t have to wait long before coming back onto the pitch to shake hands either, as Hales blazed 60* from 24 deliveries while Clarke added 26* from 14. 

“I joked before they went out that it would be good if they finished it off before the football started, and I think they took it seriously!” Ball said.

"There are no words for the way they went about the chase."

Jake Ball on Alex Hales and Joe Clarke

“There are no words for the way they went about the chase. They proved what they can do, adapting to a wicket that didn’t necessarily suit their natural game.”

With two ties and a loss rounding off their results so far, Ball believes the Outlaws are in a positive position to press on as they hunt for qualification from the North Group.

Notts currently sit top of the table, but only two points separate them and Lancashire Lightning in fifth place. 

“We are well-placed, particularly with that net run rate, to kick on in the back end of the campaign," he said.

“The games come so thick and fast that we haven’t really looked at the table, but we get a little gap of two days now and we feel like we are timing our run into the closing stages, so hopefully we can continue that momentum going forwards.”