And his figures of three for four from four overs with one maiden as Worcestershire were restricted to a paltry 86 for eight in their 20 overs was the most economical four-over spell by any bowler in English T20 cricket history. Jake Ball, meanwhile, took career-best T20 figures of three for 17.
Nottinghamshire’s record-breaker Samit Patel said: “It was a great night, obviously one of my better nights with the ball. I couldn’t have asked for a better start after a wicket with my second ball and it kind of just rolled from there.
“But it was a real group effort with the ball and in the field, a great team performance. For them to get only two boundaries in 20 overs is almost unheard of.
“After we tied at New Road when we should have won, we kind of owed it to ourselves to get over the line in this one. We have worked really hard in training and we just have to back it up now, starting with a win at Derby on Friday and again against Lancashire on Saturday.”
The Outlaws’ margin of victory set an English T20 record too, Hales seeing them home with 82 balls to spare with his 11th four, eclipsing the previous biggest win by that measure when Hampshire beat Gloucestershire by seven wickets at Bristol in 2010 with 75 balls remaining.
Hales reached his half-century from just 18 balls, having hit two sixes as Nottinghamshire, who had limited their opponents to just 20 for four in the six Powerplay overs, reached the end of their Powerplay needing just two more runs to win at 85 without loss.
The big-hitting opener took 24 in a single over off the former Nottinghamshire spinner Ish Sodhi, going four-four-six-four-six as a crowd of just over 3,500 showed their appreciation.
Joe Clarke finished on 26 from 14 balls at the other end, the players leaving the field in time to watch England (or Scotland) in action in the Euros.
Asked to bat first, the Rapids lost Brett D’Oliveira to his first ball, edging Patel to slip with a tentative push, and were three down for six after four balls of the left-arm spinner’s second over after Tom Fell was stumped and Riki Wessels sent a leading edge into the hands of backward point. Ben Cox hit Jake Ball to mid-off to leave them 11 for four.
Jake Libby and Ross Whiteley added 46 for the fifth wicket, but Whiteley’s drive down the ground off Calvin Harrison’s leg spin was the only boundary between them and were both out in the 13th over, as Steven Mullaney had Whiteley caught at long on and Libby at point.
Ben Dwarshuis picked up the only other four of the innings as he cut Jake Ball to the rope but Ball hit back by dismissing Ed Barnard, caught at long off, and then bowling Dwarshuis next ball in the next over, none of the Outlaws bowlers conceding in double figures in any of the 20 overs, the Rapids’ total their lowest for a full 20 overs in the history of the format.
Bangladesh’s Shakib al Hasan is the only other bowler in world T20 cricket to take 100 wickets at a single ground, having claimed 135 at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, in Mirpur.