DURHAM Jets go gunning for revenge against Leicestershire Foxes this evening in the T20 Blast – and the chance to ease the memory of one of their poorest bowling displays of the season.
The Foxes inflicted a morale-sapping defeat on Durham a month ago at the Emirates ICG ground when they successfully overhauled a mountainous home score with balls to spare.
Durham had set Leicestershire a challenging target of 178 to win off their 20 overs after a boundary-studded innings and sparkling performances from Phil Mustard, Calum MacLeod and Gordon Muchall.
Their team-mates could not match the acceleration of Mustard, (36 from 26 balls), MacLeod (42 from 28 balls), or Muchall, (43 from 22 balls), but that hardly seemed to matter as Durham started bowling solidly.
The home side lost their way badly though and while Ned Eckersley’s t20 career best of 43 runs from 22 balls was a praiseworthy effort, it was more a case of indisciplined Durham bowling rather than Leicestershire’s brilliance which cost the North East side the game as the visitors reached their target with five balls to spare.
Mustard admitted afterwards that the Durham players had let themselves down badly with Keaton Jennings, Ben Stokes and Paul Collingwood savaged by the Foxes and Usman Arshad removed from the attack after breaching bowling regulations.
Tonight at Grace Road, Durham will look not only to put the memory of that poor bowling display behind them but also to bounce back to winning ways in their penultimate t20 match of the season.
Durham lost their last t20 outing to Yorkshire Vikings at the Emirates.
They then followed that up this week with a rank bad performance in the county championship, losing heavily to Warwickshire at the Emirates by an innings and 188 runs inside three days.
Durham head coach Jon Lewis has said his side have to use that bad defeat as a wake-up call and tonight Durham will look to snap back, although the Jets go will also have to go in search of victory without the help of powerhouse all-rounder Ben Stokes, who is away on England duty.
l Durham’s last t20 of the qualifying stages of the NatWest Blast tournament comes next Friday with the visit of Northamptonshire Steelbacks to Chester-le-Street.