WORCESTERSHIRE Rapids’ devilishly difficult start to this year’s NatWest T20 Blast continues tonight when they travel to Trent Bridge to face much-fancied Nottinghamshire Outlaws (6pm).

The New Road side were handed three tough away fixtures in a row to kick-off their 20-over campaign and will be bidding to avoid a hat-trick of defeats this evening.

Skipper Daryl Mitchell’s men were beaten by 29 and 12 runs respectively in their opening two matches at Durham Jets and Lancashire Lightning.

The County’s in-form captain recognises the task facing his side doesn’t get any easier with the Outlaws being arguably the strongest team in the North Group.

Mitchell said: “It is probably the most difficult game in the group on paper. Trent Bridge, they don’t lose many games at Trent Bridge, but we won there in the Pro40 last season, so it is something we can take confidence from.

“We weren’t a million miles away in the first two games. It was really disappointing the way we fielded at Old Trafford but, other than that, we batted exceptionally well.

“Hopefully, we can take the positives from that, get some runs on the board or chasing whatever score is set and get that first win.

“If we can get that first win, Twenty20 is a competition you can get onto a good run in. All is not lost.

“We probably need to win eight matches to get out of the group and we will just now have to win eight out of 12 instead of eight out of 14.”

Nottinghamshire’s England T20 star Alex Hales was briefly a member of the New Road dressing room after a one-game loan stint with Worcestershire and Mitchell knows he will be a key man.

“Halesy is a great talent and very difficult to bowl at T20 especially in the powerplay overs when you’ve only got two fielders out,” added Mitchell. “But we will have to come up with some plans and he will be a priority of ours.”