Durham disappointment as Clark’s blistering 71 – and fourth highest T20 score in club’s history – counts for nothing

Durham batsman Graham Clark hits out against Birmingham Bears last weekend.
Durham batsman Graham Clark hits out against Birmingham Bears last weekend.

Durham Jets’ hopes of a victory in their final NatWest T20 Blast match of the season were dashed last night – despite posting a formidable total of 208-3.

Sadly for the Jets, and reigning champions Northamptonshire Steelbacks, who needed a win to have any chance of a quarter-final place, heavy rain fell at Wantage Road and forced an abandonment before the home side could start their reply.

Had the weather not intervened, Northants would have faced a very stiff chase after Durham produced their fourth-highest T20 total, and their best ever against Northamptonshire.

Graham Clark was the chief aggressor with 71 off just 37 balls, at a strike rate of 191.89, which featured four boundaries from the fifth over bowled by Richard Gleeson to provide some momentum in the powerplay.

A drive over mid-off and a flick over short fine-leg saw 58 runs come from the first six overs, for the run-out of Keaton Jennings for three.

Clark stepped away to slap Josh Cobb past extra-cover and slog-swept the left-arm spin of Graeme White into the gardens beyond the boundary.

His second six was sent over midwicket as he passed fifty in 26 balls as Northants again struggled with the ball. Clark hit nine fours.

Opener Tom Latham hit three fours and two sixes in a quickfire 37 off 25 balls.

Michael Richardson, with three fours and two sixes in a 27-ball knock of 47 not out, put on 67 in an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership with skipper Paul Coughlin.

Coughlin fired a six and three fours in his 36 not out, from 25 deliveries.

The abandonment saw Durham pick up only their seventh point in the North Group, finishing bottom on three points, hindered by a four-point deduction.

Durham are next in action at home to Derbyshire in the County Championship Division Two on bank holiday Monday, August 28

There is action at the Riverside tomorrow, with Paul Collingwood’s testimonial match, which sees a Sunderland XI take on a Newcastle United XI (2.30pm start).

The Sunderland team, coached by Peter Reid, includes Liam Plunkett, Jonathan Trott, Keaton Jennings, Scott Borthwick and Chris Rushworth. Admission is priced at £10 in advance or £15 on matchday.