Jake Ball took four wickets before Ben Duckett hit his second successive fifty as Notts Outlaws rounded off their 2022 Vitality Blast campaign with a five-wicket victory over Worcestershire Rapids at New Road.

Chasing 160, Duckett notched an unbeaten 62* from 44 deliveries and Sol Budinger and Tom Moores also passed 20 as the Outlaws reached their target in the penultimate over.

Ball returned figures of 4-25 and Sol Budinger recorded 2-21 as wickets fell at regular intervals throughout the Worcestershire innings, with only Ed Barnard able to pass 30 in a below-par total.

Returning as captain in the Outlaws’ final T20 outing of 2022 after Dan Christian was ruled out with injury, Steven Mullaney won the toss and opted to field first, and his decision received almost instant vindication.

Ball struck no fewer than three times in the powerplay, seeing Jake Libby and Brett D’Oliveira caught by Tom Moores and Mullaney respectively, as well as splattering Colin Munro’s stumps, to leave the hosts 41/3.

A counter-attacking effort by captain Moeen Ali and Kashif Ali added 49 in five overs, before the former lofted the off-spin of Budinger to Alex Hales at long-on in the 12th to depart for 28.

Budinger then took care of Kashif Ali in the next over as he sliced to Mullaney in the covers for 23, and the trial by spin continued as Samit Patel bowled Gareth Roderick through the gate to put the Rapids on 107/6.

Barnard and Dwayne Bravo negotiated the remainder of Patel and Budinger’s respective overs with a stand of 41, but Lyndon James struck back for the Outlaws as he saw Barnard caught by Ben Duckett at long-on for 38.

West Indies international Bravo then holed out to Joe Clarke off Ball on the midwicket rope from the penultimate delivery as the Rapids’ total was set at 159/8.

Despite the Outlaws suffering the early loss of Joe Clarke, Budinger batted with strong intent from the outset, crunching three of his first four balls for boundaries in a productive cameo of 24 from 12 deliveries.

Though he fell before the end of the fourth over, as did Alex Hales, his knock was instrumental in seeing the visitors seize the initiative as they raced to 61 from the powerplay.

Just as he had in Friday’s victory over Durham, Ben Duckett again proved the lynchpin at the heart of the Outlaws’ innings as he crisply kept the scoring rate up, propelling the total to 91/4 after ten overs.

James and Duckett ticked off the runs in a fifth-wicket partnership of 52 to bring the required runs down to just 40, prior to James’ dismissal for 18.

Left-hander Duckett remained steadfast, and manoeuvred his way to a second successive fifty alongside Tom Moores, reaching the landmark from 39 deliveries in the 18th over, with the Outlaws 138/5.

Victory was then confirmed as Moores launched a colossal maximum over long-off to end his own unbeaten knock on 26* from 15, seeing out the encounter with eight balls to spare.