PHIL Mustard hopes Durham can finally convert their T20 potential into success after after blasting the Dynamos to their first win of the season in the tournament last night.
Mustard smashed an unbeaten 61 in a masterful team performance as the visitors beat Northamptonshire by nine wickets.
A star-studded line-up containing five players with England caps – Mustard, Ian Blackwell, Liam Plunkett, Graham Onions and former World Cup-winning skipper Paul Collingwood – hammered the home side to send out a message to the other teams in the competition.
The Steelbacks were restricted to 124-9 off their 20 overs with Collingwood, Chris Rushworth and Mitchell Claydon each taking two wickets, and Onions producing a devastating early spell to set the tone.
Mustard and Blackwell then knocked off the runs with 23 balls to spare, and the wicket-keeper batsman believes this could be the year Durham finally make their mark in the explosive format of the game.
“When we got to Finals Day a few years ago, I think that experience opened our eyes and we should have gone on and done better,” said Mustard.
“We’ve not had the same kind of run in the competition since then, but I think this year could be different.”
Chasing 125, openers Mustard and Gordon Muchall started confidently in making 60 between them inside nine overs.
Muchall fell on 19, but Mustard then reached his ninth half-century in Twenty20 cricket off 38 balls with a four over extra cover, while Blackwell smashed 41 not out off 27 balls.
Mustard added: “I think the bowlers came out and set the tone. They bowled really well, and Colly came in and did a job and put them under pressure.
“It’s always nice when Blackie gets in too, he’s good to bat with. You get to stand at one end while he hits fours and sixes!
“That’s the beauty about Durham, we’ve got people down the order who can hit well and it takes off a bit of the pressure.”
H The Dynamos are back in action tonight when they visit Derbyshire Falcons, with a 7pm start.