Paul Collingwood proved the inspiration as Durham Jets claimed an impressive 66-run NatWest T20 Blast win against Nottinghamshire at a chilly Emirates Riverside last night.
Victory took Durham into second place in the Northern Division going into a crucial away double header – they visit Edgbaston to take on Birmingham Bears tomorrow before visiting Leicestershire Foxes on Saturday afternoon.
Going in at 111-6 in the 15th over, the 40-year-old former England T20 captain hit an unbeaten 44 off 22 balls to help Jets post a competitive 178-7.
He then helped to ensure that the visiting big guns failed to fire as his skilful variations of pace earned him one wicket for 22 runs in four overs in a 66-run win.
The similar bowling of Keaton Jennings saw him also get through four overs with one for 15, reducing Nottinghamshire to desperation.
Needing 101 off the last seven overs, they threw wickets away in being dismissed for 112, Paul Coughlin finishing with three wickets to support three top-order dismissals from Barry McCarthy.
Collingwood said after helping Durham to a second win in three T20 games this term: “I don’t mind going in at No 8. We have some hard-hitters up the order and we want to see the club progressing.
“I haven’t been all that successful with the bat in T20 in recent years.
“My role is more as a bowler, but you learn with experience that you have to be versatile and adapt to any situation.”
Durham’s total was far more than looked likely when Samit Patel’s left-arm spin stifled the middle of their innings.
He took 3-14, but Collingwood’s seventh-wicket stand of 37 with Coughlin provided real impetus.
Durham took 58 off the last four overs, helped by Harry Gurney bowling three of his four wides in the 17th. He also bowled two no-balls.
Two overs later, Collingwood lifted the left-armer for the only two sixes of the innings in front of midwicket.
Jake Ball’s only success was with his first ball – which Phil Mustard edged behind – and he went on to concede 41 in four overs.
It was not a good night for Australian one-day international Dan Christian, whose one over cost 15 runs and who scored only nine before driving a Jennings full toss straight to long-on.
Riki Wessels, who made 97 in the equivalent game last season and an unbeaten 159 in the championship against Durham this week, top-scored with 38.
At 61 for two after 10 overs it was down to Wessels and Christian to provide the accleration – but after lifting McCarthy for six over long-on Wessels holed out going for a repeat.
When Christian swiftly followed, the contest was as good as over.
After the two T20 games in the Midlands, Durham stay on to tackle Leicestershire in their first game in the 50-over Royal London One-Day Cup on Sunday.