Worcestershire Rapids are up and running! Skipper Joe Leach's side completed their first victory of the season in the NatWest T20 Blast by defeating Notts Outlaws by 13 runs at Trent Bridge.
Big hitting from Joe Clarke, Mitchell Santner and Ross Whiteley propelled the Rapids to 208-8 after being put into bat.
Then John Hastings – with an excellent 3-31 in his four overs at the death – plus another tight spell from Santner ensured the Outlaws were restricted to 195-5 in reply.
It was the Outlaws first home setback in 10 T20 Blast games stretching back to last May and another indication of the Rapids ability to claim big scalps.
Clarke again got the Rapids off to a fine start as he raced to 60 off just 27 deliveries with three sixes and seven fours.
His partnership with Daryl Mitchell was worth 51 in just 4.1 overs.
Clarke was second out at 75 and the Rapids suffered a mid innings wobble which left them on 104-5 in the 12th over.
But then Santner, with 35 off 20 balls with three sixes and one four, and Whiteley – 42 off 16 deliveries with five sixes and one four – bludgeoned 60 off 4.2 overs.
Santner clubbed one of his rope-clearing blows off countryman Ish Sodhi, who took two for 41, including the prized scalp of Whiteley, who skewed the leg-spinner to point.
Jake Ball had earlier removed Clarke and then added some lustre to his final figures of three for 34 by removing both Santner and Joe Leach as the innings drew towards a close.
In contrast, Harry Gurney came in for some punishment and conceded a total of five sixes as he finished with an analysis of none for 57, the most expensive in the county’s T20 history.
Notts had never chased down a target as large as 208 before but scored 76-0 in the powerplay.
Alex Hales – having made 63 off 27 balls – then went for a big hit against Brett D’Oliveira but failed to clear Ed Barnard on the deep midwicket fence, with the score on 92.
When Brendan Taylor found 18-year old debutant Pat Brown on the midwicket boundary, off Daryl Mitchell for 25, Notts still needed 80 from 46 balls.
Outlaws captain Dan Christian made only two, hoisting fellow-Australian Hastings down to Clarke at long leg.
The required run-rate rose to more than over 13, with 66 needed from the last five overs and home chances dipped further as Samit Patel became Hastings’ second victim, pulling to midwicket for 10.
Wessels reached 4,000 runs in T20 cricket but he perished shortly afterwards and, despite Tom Moores and Steven Mullaney throwing the bat in the closing overs, the Rapids closed out the win.