James Weighell fired up by Vitality Blast performances ahead of Notts Outlaws’ Saturday visit to Durham Jets

James Weighell in action for Durham Jets in the Royal London One-Day Cup
James Weighell in action for Durham Jets in the Royal London One-Day Cup
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James Weighell has admitted that Durham have surprised even themselves by their upturn in form in the Vitality T20 Blast this season ahead of their clash with Nottinghamshire tomorrow.

The Jets lost their opening six matches of the T20 competition last season, winning just three of their 14 games in the North Group.

However, Durham have already surpassed their win total from 2017, securing three victories on the bounce after defeating Worcestershire by six wickets last time out at Emirates Riverside.

Weighell said: “It has been a massive contrast to last season because we didn’t have a win after six games.

“It has been a nice surprise and with every win we believe that we can push on further into the competition.

“The way we’ve been going we’ve had batsmen in form and wicketless powerplays for at least two or three games.

“That has built confidence and the way the competitions is playing so many matches in a short space of time you can get that momentum to take you towards the quarter-finals.

“It has been a good all-round effort, we had two poor games against Yorkshire, which didn’t go down well with the locals.

“It’s a nice feeling to have when the games are coming thick and fast to be confident in yourself.

“The two games against Yorkshire were poor ones for myself, which contributed in the team not being successful. We’ve had four good games and I’ve felt good myself and I’m looking forward to getting back into it come Saturday.”

Weighell was not part of Durham’s County Championship side which lost by 41 runs to Gloucestershire during the week, having struggled with shin and ankle problems during the middle of the campaign.

The seamer is hopeful that he can find his form and fitness in the Blast to return to action in the Championship games before the end of the term.

He added: “I’m always disappointed to miss out on any first-team cricket, although the Gloucestershire game wasn’t something that was on my radar because I haven’t had the overs built up to be in contention.

“I’ve only played the shorter forms of cricket over the last couple of months so I haven’t had the overs in my legs or in my body to get through a four-day match.

“I’ve got to focus on the T20s to build up my overs and hopefully then have enough to get into the first-class team towards the end of the season.”

Durham will be looking to record their fourth win on the bounce in the Blast against holders Nottinghamshire tomorrow (2.30pm).

The Jets won the reverse fixture by 34 runs and Weighell is upbeat that he and his team-mates can pull off another victory on home soil.

He added: “Playing them in the first game we know that they’ve got the players that can take the game away from you.

“We played well and were lucky enough to not let anyone get going against us.

“Tom Latham’s innings was huge, batting right the way through and just missing out on his hundred.

!We’ve had brilliant crowds for the first two games, it will be a massive boost if the crowd is like that again tomorrow.”

* Former Durham star Liam Plunkett, 33, will join Surrey from Yorkshire on a three-year deal at the end of this season.

Plunkett said: “Obviously Yorkshire took a chance on me after Durham, and I appreciate everything they’ve done for me.”