DURHAM Jets’ woes continued with a third defeat in a row in the Natwest T20 blast competition despite setting a challenging 178 to win at the Emirates ICG ground.
They lost to the previously lacklustre Leicestershire Foxes despite a decent start by the home side at the Emirates ICG.
Openers Mark Stoneman and Phil Mustard had given them a solid start putting on a half century without the loss of a wicket.
And they were backed up by Gordon Muchall’s season-high 43 and in-form Calum MacLeod’s 42.
The Jets could have posted a more daunting score but in the closing stages when they might even have got 200 in their sights, they lost quick wickets at the death, John Hastings going for a duck and Muchall and Scott Borthwick falling in consecutive balls when Durham might have finished with a flourish.
A score over 170 still represented a more than useful score in this form of the game at the Emirates.
And the home fans who enjoyed their cricket in sun-kissed evening conditions would have expected it to be enough against opposition that had lost their four of their five t20 games.
The Foxes made a solid enough start but after seven overs were 49 for two and in danger of falling behind the run rate.
Catches from MacLeod, the second one a beauty, saw off Matthew Boyce and Josh Cobb but then Gareth Breese’s first over went for 13 runs and Leicestershire reached the half-way stage fractionally ahead of the run rate.
Things were not helped when Usman Arshad had to be pulled out of bowling mid-over for bowling two waist-high no-balls.
Ned Eckersley threatened to take the game away from Durham a career-best 43 runs from 20 balls but when Paul Collingwood removed him at 137-4 with the visitors needing 41 runs from 34 balls, Durham still had hope – especially when more good work by Collingwood helped make it 144-6 and 34 needed from 22 balls.
Unfortunately, their bowling did not improve.
Even Collingwood fell prone to the poorness which affected Durham’s bowlers on the night – with Tom Wells plundering 24 runs in the penultimate over and the game ended with Leicester cruising home by four wickets with five balls to spare.