Durham Jets endured a disappointing start to their NatWest Blast T20 campaign last night, having no answer to Worcestershire Rapids showstopper Tom Kohler-Cadmor.
But coach Jon Lewis says Durham showed good signs which augur well for the rest of the campaign.
He said: “It was tough for us but I think we have to give quite a bit of credit to Kohler-Cadmore. He’s had an impressive day. He struck the ball really well.
“Strange as it may seem, there’s quite a lot there that we can feel quite good about. We did some impressive stuff but all was all overshadowed by Kohler-Cadmore’s innings.”
The home opener scored the first T20 century of the season from 43 balls – the sixth fastest in the competition’s history – as Worcestershire set up a 38-run win at New Road.
The 21-year-old opener was eventually out for 127, having surpassed Graeme Hick’s county record of 116 not out against Northants at Luton in 2004, but Durham were not overwhelmed by chasing a total of 225-6.
Phil Mustard led a brave effort with 64 off 49 balls and they were not out of contention until Joe Leach accounted for Ryan Pringle (a smart 21 from nine balls) and Calum MacLeod (0) in four balls in the 15th over.
Leach followed that with the dismissal of Mustard, caught at deep mid-wicket after hitting eight fours, but it was Kohler-Cadmore’s night from the start and later to be embellished with three catches, one of these completing Leach’s return of five for 33, his best in the completion.
New Zealand spinner Mitchell Santner also made an important contribution with two for 29 on his debut as Durham came up short with 187 for eight after batting for much of the innings in appalling light.
Kohler-Cadmore scored three fifties in last season’s group matches, with a top score of 75 against Notts, and was pencilled in to open this summer following the departure of Richard Oliver.
The move produced spectacular results in a murderous phase in which he took 28 off Barry McCarthy in the fifth over and then blasted fours off the next three balls he faced in the following over by Ryan Pringle.
On reaching his half century in 21 balls, he had scored 48 runs in boundaries and when he was caught at deep mid-wicket off Paul Coughlin in the 15th over, his innings included eight sixes and 14 fours from 54 deliveries.
In his first senior appearance since a back injury in June last year, Coughlin took 2-43, a respectable return in the circumstances, but for McCarthy it was a match to forget.
His figures of 1-63 in four overs are the most expensive by a Durham bowler in the competition – and this in the week when he took a career-best five for 70 in the championship victory over Lancashire.
The total is the biggest against Durham in T20 cricket and for Worcestershire it is their highest at New Road.
Durham are next in T20 action away to Lancashire next Friday. They start a Specsavers County Championship game at Edgbaston against Warwickshire tomorrow.
Man of the match Kohler-Cadmore said: “It was nice to start by hitting a few out of the middle of the bat.
“Everybody knows T20 cricket is hit-and-miss but luckily tonight was my night. I have started well but the main thing is for us is our second game.
“Hopefully next week we can click on and do the business against the Bears (Warwickshire) at their place.”