DURHAM Jets endured a nightmare finish to Saturday’s NatWest Blast T20 trip to Worcestershire Rapids – throwing away a deserved victory in a horror last over from Chris Rushworth.
Beaten at Birmingham Bears by six wickets on Friday night, Durham slumped to another disappointing defeat in a game reduced to 13 overs a side.
Despite the sunny conditions in Worcester, earlier rain had left the outfield wet and it was eventually decided that a shortened game could get under way at 4.30pm.
The home side won the toss and elected to field, and got off to a good start with two wickets in the second over.
Mark Stoneman (two) skied Chris Russell’s first delivery of the match to Alexei Kervezee in the deep and Phil Mustard (three) was gone next delivery as some extra bounce saw the ball catch his glove on the way through to Ben Cox.
That brought Ben Stokes to the crease and he hit three fours in the next over but was gone for 24 in the sixth when he was caught at long-on by Gareth Andrew off Colin Munro.
Calum MacLeod clobbered two big leg-side sixes and was given a reprieve on 29 when he was caught on the boundary by Richard Oliver, but the opener could not stop himself standing on the rope. Four runs were erroneously awarded instead of six, though it would prove inconsequential in the final analysis.
Gordon Muchall made 30 not out in an unbroken stand of 72 with the Scotland star, whose runs came from 33 balls.
Daryl Mitchell was gone early in Worcestershire’s reply, top-edging a simple catch to Stokes off John Hastings, but Tom Kohler-Cadmore hit three boundaries in the third over – two of them edged through the vacant slip area.
Oliver slapped Usman Arshad (one for 10 in a brilliant individual performances) straight to Stokes at backward point but Kohler-Cadmore (32) and overseas star Munro (11) put on 34, with the youngster striking boundaries off Keaton Jennings and Gareth Breese.
Australian newcomer Hastings removed both batsmen in successive balls, but new men Gareth Andrew and Ross Whiteley put on a decisive 43 in just four overs.
Whiteley launched two sixes off Hastings in the 11th over, the Australian finishing with three for 31, and 15 were required from the final over.
Rushworth, though, paid the price for three full tosses.
Andrew made the perfect start by hoisting Rushworth for six and four and, though he picked out Stokes going for another six, Whiteley did the job with another six off the next ball.
H Durham are not back in action until Sunday when they meet Lancashire at the Emirates ICG in the LV County Championship, with the home side still seeking a first victory.
The next T20 game is at home to Leicestershire Foxes next Friday, June 20.