Worcestershire Rapids hit their second-highest-ever T20 score as they defeated Notts Outlaws by 56 runs under the Trent Bridge floodlights to maintain their 100% winning start to the 2023 Vitality Blast.
The Rapids amassed 226-5 after being put into bat, with skipper Brett D’Oliveira, Michael Bracewell, Jack Haynes, and Adam Hose all making sizeable contributions.
It was a magnificent display of hitting, and fell just one run short of the record total of 227-6 against Northamptonshire at Kidderminster in 2007.
But it was Worcestershire’s highest-ever away score in the competition, surpassing the 213-7 versus Somerset at Edgbaston in a televised match at Birmingham during COVID-19.
D’Oliveira then weaved his magic with the ball to finish with T20 best figures of 4-11, beating his 4-20 against Lancashire Lightning at New Road last summer.
Pat Brown was also in brilliant form with the ball in finishing with 4-25 from 3.2 overs, and, like D’Oliveira, has 11 wickets already in the competition this summer.
Notts were eventually dismissed for 170 in 18.2 overs.
The Rapids have now won all four matches in a superb start to the tournament with their exciting and attacking brand of cricket.
Another large crowd will cheer them on in Sunday’s home game with Northamptonshire Steelbacks (2.30pm start).
All-rounder Mitchell Santner made the first appearance of his third spell with Worcestershire after helping Chennai Super Kings to IPL glory.
He replaced Usama Mir in the only change from the side which had defeated Leicestershire Foxes at New Road on Monday.
D’Oliveira got the Rapids innings off to a flying start on a sunlit evening
He set the tone by striking the first two deliveries of the innings from Shaheen Afridi for boundaries and then lofted Matthew Carter over the head of the fielder on the square leg boundary for six.
D’Oliveira raced to 30 in the fourth over, and then Bracewell produced a superb on drive for four straight down the ground off Afridi.
The 50 stand came up in just 4.2 overs, and the runs continued to flow freely, with D’Oliveira smashing Lyndon James over the ropes at long off.
Bracewell then took advantage of the shorter leg side boundary for a left-hander as he pulled Conor McKerr for two huge sixes in the space of three balls.
The Rapids reached 87-0 by the end of the powerplay, and the opening stand was worth 98 when D’Oliveira, having raced to 49 from 21 balls with two sixes and six fours, holed out to deep square leg off Samit Patel.
It surpassed the Rapids previous best opening stand against Notts of 69 by Moeen Ali and Jack Manuel at New Road in 2011.
Bracewell completed an excellent 22 ball half century – his first for the Rapids – with two sixes and six fours and he had moved onto 55 before being bowled by Carter.
Santner was caught and bowled by Steven Mullaney, but Haynes continued the brutal assault on the Outlaws attack.
A delivery from Patel disappeared over the mid wicket boundary as the 150 came up in 12.5 overs.
The England Lions player made 42 off just 25 balls before falling on the deep cover boundary off Mullaney.
Kashif Ali (10) was caught off a skier at backward point off Afridi.
But Hose was again in supreme form and produced an outrageous scoop for six over fine leg off Afridi on his way to 51 not out from 27 balls.
He struck four maximums and three fours.
When Notts batted, they managed to score only nine runs off the opening two overs from Dillon Pennington and Santner.
Alex Hales and Joe Clarke accelerated to bring up the half century from 25 balls.
Pennington made the first breakthrough when Clarke pulled a delivery to Bracewell around the corner at short fine leg.
Pat Brown then claimed his eighth wicket of the tournament as Colin Munro, who played for the Rapids last summer, was safely pouched by Kashif Ali at long on.
D’Oliveira brought himself into the attack, and his second delivery brought a wicket as Matt Montgomery went for a reverse sweep, and Bracewell clung onto a skier running back from backward point.
Three balls later, there was more joy for D’Oliveira as Tom Moores attempted a pull shot and only found the safe hands of Ed Pollock at deep backward square.
Lyndon James then gave Bracewell the charge and was comprehensively bowled at 115-5 in the 12th over.
D’Oliveira returned to the firing line and enjoyed a third success as Hose held onto an excellent low catch on the cover boundary to dismiss James.
He then collected the prized wicket of Hales, who, after making 71 off 35 balls, also picked out Hose, who was carried over the rope but threw the ball back inside the rope before completing the catch.
Brown ended Afridi’s cameo knock of 29, including four sixes when he went for a pull and was caught around the corner by Pennington.
In the same over, Patel could only nick a Brown delivery through to keeper Ben Cox.
It was all over in Brown’s next over with Cox at full length collecting another skier from Carter.