Notts Outlaws, T20 Blastquarter-finalists in seven of the last eight seasons, are in danger of not qualifying for the knockout stages.
The defending champions dropped to sixth in the North Group after a 72-run defeat to leaders Worcester Rapids at Trent Bridge.
Rapids hit 206 for two with Callum Gerfuson scoring 102 not out off 56 balls and Moeen Ali 65.
Outlaws captain Dan Christian said: “We thought they probably got 25-30 too many.
“We were able to defend 166 the other night, but thought 180 was about par then.
“A lot of our success here over recent years has been about bowling into the pitch, so that was the plan – but they were too good for us.”
Notts, bolstered by the return from injury of Alex Hales, lost early wickets and were always fighting against a sharply-rising run-rate.
They were dismissed for only 134 in 17.2 overs.
Hales, out through a side injury since 8th July, hit both od his first two deliveries for four, as Notts began their pursuit. He only made 11, however.
Steven Mullaney registered his first half century of this year’s competition. He reached the landmark from only 26 balls but was then run out.