Hales leads dominant performance
Nottinghamshire 114 for 4 beat Worcestershire 113 for 9 by six wickets
Nottinghamshire made an emphatic late entry into the Friends Provident t20 arena with a six-wicket win against Worcestershire at New Road. Nine days after the opening fixture in the revamped competition, the Outlaws finally played their first game, holding the home side to 113 for 9 and scooting past their target with six overs to spare.
Although Alistair Brown departed in Jack Shantry's first over, there was never any danger as Alex Hales tore into Worcestershire for the second year in a row despite batting throughout in appalling light.
Having made 150 not out in last season's Pro40 League meeting at Trent Bridge, the 21-year-old opener completed his first FP t20 half-century from 33 balls and finished unbeaten with 66 including nine fours and two sixes.
Taking 20 runs from Imran Arif in a five-ball sequence of 4, 4, 2, 4, 6, he dominated a stand of 63 with Matt Wood (22) before legspinner Steven Smith took wickets in successive deliveries.
Smith should also have accounted for Hales but the 6ft 5in batsman was badly dropped by Moeen Ali at long off on 43 and survived another chance at midwicket off medium-pacer Daryl Mitchell on 53. David Hussey (15) was not so lucky when run out by a deflection from the bowler, James Cameron.
Worcestershire never recovered from a double blow inflicted by Dirk Nannes in the fourth over of their innings. The Australian World Twenty20 finalist knocked back Vikram Solanki's off stump and had Phil Jaques caught at midwicket in three balls.
Nottinghamshire bowled with relentless accuracy in favourable conditions and continued to hold their catches. Ryan Sidebottom took three, one off his own bowling and two in the deep, the best a tumbling overhead effort to remove Alexei Kervezee.
Allrounder Smith briefly injected some entertainment for a patient crowd with two sixes in reaching 19 but the young Australian fell to a top edge during Steve Mullaney's four-over spell of 3 for 12.
When the eighth wicket went down at 78, Worcestershire were in danger of failing to beat their lowest total of 86 in the old Twenty20 Cup, but Gareth Andrew signed off with three successive sixes as Paul Franks conceded 23 runs in the last over.