LANCASHIRE secured the narrowest of victories as they held on to defeat Durham by a single run in tonight’s NatWest T20 Blast match at Chester-le-Street.
Karl Brown top-scored for Lancashire with 61 from 51 balls before he was removed by Chris Rushworth (two for 25) as the visitors finished on 133 for six from their allotted overs.
Durham looked set to reach the target with ease before three wickets fell for two runs in the middle of the order to set up a tense finale, with four needed from the final ball.
Ryan Pringle was unable to put Kabir Ali’s final delivery away to the boundary as Durham fell just short, closing on 132 for seven.
Brown powered to the half-century mark in 44 balls with a flurry of boundaries for Lancashire in a bright performance with the bat before he was caught at long off by Gordon Muchall.
Jordan Clark was the next highest scorer for the visitors with 27 as Durham shared the wickets, with only Pringle not claiming a scalp as Lancashire stuttered to a defendable target from their 20 overs.
Alex Davies (one) was caught behind off Usman Arshad, with Tom Smith (18), Paul Horton (12) and Steven Croft (four) all dismissed by the 12th over as Lancashire slumped to 54 for four.
Brown and Clark then added some much-needed stability and firepower to move their side on to 127 before the former’s dismissal.
Andrea Agathangelou and Arron Lilley were unable to add to the score as Lancashire’s innings drew to a close.
In reply, Durham lost Mark Stoneman (12) in the third over but Calum MacLeod’s 45 from 34 balls looked to have put the hosts in control.
However, three wickets fell for just two runs when Paul Collingwood (19) was quickly followed back to the pavilion by MacLeod and Gareth Breese (one) as Durham were left struggling on 100 for six with 23 balls remaining - 34 short of their target.
When Junaid Khan (three for 21) bowled Muchall in the 19th over, Durham needed more than two runs a ball to win with only three wickets in hand.
That left Michael Richardson and Pringle at the crease, with 15 needed from the final over for victory.
Richardson struck three from the first ball by Kabir Ali, with Pringle blasting a boundary with the next and two runs and a single from the subsequent balls.
A single from the fifth ball of the over left Durham needing a boundary to win, but Pringle could only find two as Lancashire secured the narrowest of victories.