WORCESTERSHIRE Rapids' Joe Clarke and former County loan player Alex Hales are the new joint-leaders in the battle for this year’s Walter Lawrence Trophy with 45-ball hundreds.

Opener Clarke posted his century against Durham Jets in the T20 Blast match at New Road.

Responding to Durham’s 201-2, which included a maiden T20 hundred from former England veteran Paul Collingwood, Clarke saw his side home by eight wickets.

He spanked six sixes and 10 fours in his hundred before finishing unbeaten on 124 off 53 balls.

Clarke has been a revelation in the opening role after last year’s trophy winner Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s departure to Yorkshire left a vacancy at the top of the Rapids order.  

The 21-year-old, who was born in Shrewsbury, has represented England Lions and England under 19s and is rated as one of the most exciting young batting talents in the game.  

On the same day opener Hales smashed his century for Notts Outlaws against Yorkshire Vikings in a thrilling T20 Blast match at Trent Bridge.

The 28-year-old hit four sixes and 14 fours in his first T20 ton for the county as his side chased down a total of 224 to win by five wickets with five balls to spare.

The swashbuckling Hales is an established England opener in limited-over matches and has played in 50 one-day internationals and 47 T20 internationals as well as 11 Test matches.

He was on loan at New Road in 2014.

Now in its 83rd year the trophy, awarded for the fastest hundred of the season, is open to all domestic county competitions as well as one-day Internationals, T20 internationals and Test matches in England.