Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes says losing too many wickets in the powerplay was the crucial factor as Worcestershire Rapids went down by 11 runs to Notts Outlaws in the NatWest T20 Blast clash at New Road.

The Rapids produced a fine bowling performance to restrict North Group leaders the Outlaws to 145-8.

Alex Hepburn’s 5-24 were the best figures by a Worcestershire bowler in the short format of the game and the entire attack kept a tight grip on the Outlaws.

But then Worcestershire lost four wickets in the first six overs of their reply to leave them facing an uphill battle.

Despite good knocks from Ben Cox, Daryl Mitchell and Ross Whiteley, the Rapids closed on 134-8.

Rhodes said: “It was the powerplay that killed us. We were four wickets down in five and a bit overs and that tends to be four of your better guys and the platform wasn’t really set for us to win the game.

“I don’t think we read the pitch very well. I don’t think it was a wicket for trying to strike the faster bowlers.

“I think it was a wicket for using the pace of the fasters bowlers and that was probably not communicated very well.

“We needed to rebuild and there was a great effort there from Daryl (Mitchell) and Coxy (Ben Cox) and Ross (Whiteley) at the end.

“But I thought Notts bowled well under pressure and it was a good performance by the likes of Ball and Gurney.”

Hepburn surpassed Daryl Mitchell’s figures of 5-28 against Northamptonshire at Northampton three years ago.

He said: “Alex got five wickets today which was a great effort, coming in for that situation and bowling well at the death as well.

“We bowled some really good overs and then the last ball went for four or six and that’s something to learn from.

“But generally the bowling and fielding was pretty good today.”