Keaton Jennings enjoyed more success with the ball than the bat on his Durham Jets return in last night’s 13-run win at home to Worcestershire in the NatWest T20 Blast.
Available for the first time in the series after being dropped from the England Test side, the left-hander continued to look out of touch as he scored four from 10 balls.
But his gentle medium pace earned 2-7 in his first three overs, stifling the Rapids after they had reached 78-1 after 10 overs in reply to 165-5.
Once Jennings had Ben Cox caught at long-on for 34, Worcestershire were under pressure and three more batsmen quickly followed.
Mitchell Santner, who had driven Ryan Pringle for an imperious straight six, lifted the off-spinner to deep mid-wicket, Brett D’Oliveira was bowled off his pads by Jennings, and Ross Whiteley clubbed Barry McCarthy to long-on.
It was left to Daryl Mitchell and Ed Barnard to score 41 off the last three overs, but the Rapids finished on 152-5.
In the clash of the North Group’s bottom two teams, Durham produced a spirited display despite their hopeless position, while Worcestershire included four young seamers in the absence of John Hastings, who has returned to Australia with a foot injury.
Barnard did not get on until the final over, but showed his prowess with the bat in making an unbeaten 34.
The other three youngsters, Josh Tongue, George Scrimshaw and Alex Hepburn, were entrusted with only five overs between them as Mitchell’s gentle medium pace, like that of Jennings, proved more effective.
For Durham, Usman Arshad shrugged off his second reprimand in three years for bowling two balls above waist height at Trent Bridge last Saturday with some skilful bowling.
With 21 needed off the final over, he conceded only six runs and a bye, his opening two overs having cost only seven.
A classy innings of 62 off 40 balls from Tom Latham, plus a decisive unbeaten 49 off 30 balls by Michael Richardson, lifted Durham to their competitive total following Jennings’ slow start.
He faced five dot balls from Tongue before cutting the sixth for four, then failed to score from three more balls from 19-year-old Scrimshaw, before Jennings drove without conviction and edged behind.
Latham greeted Santner by sweeping him over square leg for six and after reaching 50 off 33 balls, he pulled Hepburn for six and drove him for four before slicing to backward point, where Mitchell held a good low catch.
With a little help from Stuart Poynter, Richardson took 49 off the last four overs, hitting four fours and a pulled six.
Durham host Birmingham Bears tomorrow (2.30pm).