Vitality Blast: Callum Ferguson fires Worcestershire to Notts win

Callum Ferguson
Callum Ferguson

Callum Ferguson's unbeaten century strengthened Worcestershire Rapids' position at the top of the North Group of the Vitality Blast.

Ferguson scored 102 not out from 56 balls, with 10 fours and two sixes, as the Rapids defeated Nottinghamshire Outlaws by 72 runs at Trent Bridge.

The South Australian's first T20 hundred helped his side to 206 for two, with Moeen Ali making 65.

Captain Ali opted to bat first upon winning the toss and helped Ferguson add 135 for the second wicket, to take the match away from the defending champions.

Notts, bolstered by the return from injury of Alex Hales, lost early wickets and were always fighting against a sharply-rising run-rate and were dismissed for only 134 in 17.2 overs.

Wayne Parnell took three for 20 and Pat Brown, the leading wicket-taker in the competition, took three for 21.

Earlier, the Rapids lost Joe Clarke in the second over, with Harry Gurney taking a sharp caught and bowled offering, the dismissal that brought Ferguson to the crease.

The 33-year old, who scored two centuries for the Rapids in the Royal London One-Day Cup earlier in the campaign, rarely played a false stroke as he raced to his 50 from 31 deliveries.

Ali was going even quicker at the other end, racing to his 50 from only 29 deliveries, with three of the balls being clubbed for huge sixes.

The home side used seven bowlers, in an attempt to stem the flow of boundaries, but were only given a lift when Ali sliced Ish Sodhi high to point in the 15th over.

Ross Whiteley applied further punishment, bludgeoning his way to 32 not out, from only 18 balls.

Hales, out through a side injury since 8th July, hit both of his first two deliveries for four, as Notts began their pursuit of 207.

He only made 11, however, before hoisting Parnell to mid off. Riki Wessels was a little unlucky, caught superbly by a one-handed grab from Parnell from Daryl Mitchell's bowling.

Brown struck as soon as he entered the attack, having Tom Moores caught in the deep and it became a bit of procession after that, although Steven Mullaney registered his first half century of this year's competition.

He reached the landmark from only 26 balls but then failed to beat a throw from the deep by Ed Barnard and was run out for 58.

Ali completed a fine all-round match by removing Samit Patel and Dan Christian cheaply, to take figures of two for 25, and he then caught successive blows off Jake Libby and Billy Root to give Brown his 19th and 20th wickets of the campaign.

Parnell closed out the contest by bowling Luke Fletcher and then had Gurney caught behind, to lift the Rapids three points clear at the top of the table.

Notts, quarter finalists in seven of the last eight seasons, drop to six and are in danger of not qualifying for the knock-out stages.

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