Phil Mustard looks for the positives

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DURHAM must get back to winning ways as soon as possible – that’s the message from wicketkeeper-batsman Phil Mustard.

Geoff Cook’s side face Derbyshire Falcons in a Twenty20 clash at the County Ground tonight (7.10pm start), and Mustard knows his side will have their work cut out.

“They are a very good side, but you can say that about a lot of the teams in this competition,” he said.

“We know what we are capable of if we play to our best and that is what we aim for in every game.

“Sometimes it doesn’t come off, but you have to back yourself and your ability, and hopefully that is what we will do.

“T20 is pretty vital for the club, and we want to be as successful as possible in every competition we play.

“To do that you have to win games, and that is what we will be looking to do tonight.”

Durham sit second from bottom in the North Group table – a point behind this evening’s opponents, who are in third.

The Dynamos do, however, have a game in hand on the Falcons, and would leapfrog them should they pick up a win this evening.

Having won their opening T20 clash away to Yorkshire by two runs, Durham then lost out at home to Nottinghamshire on Sunday, as they were comfortably beaten by seven wickets.

Mustard knows his side cannot afford to many slip ups if they are to progress in the competition.

“We want to get to finals day, that is the aim,” he said. “To give ourselves the best chance of doing that we need to try to top our group.

“That won’t be easy, but if we can get a couple of wins under our belt and get some momentum going who knows.”

Mustard and his opening partner, overseas pro Herschelle Gibbs, have yet to fire in the T20 this season, the former managing scores of 19 and nine in the two games so far, while Gibbs’ record so far is knocks of six and two.

Gibbs was brought to the club for his explosive batting at the top of the order, and while fans have yet to see any sign of that in Durham colours, Mustard believes the Dynamos still have a top player on their hands.

“Gibbs is an outstanding player,” he said. “He has played for South Africa and has competed in T20 competitions around the world.

“We all know what he is capable of, and I’m sure he will be a very good player for Durham and a key part of the squad.”

Derbyshire go into tonight’s clash on the back of a 41-run defeat to Yorkshire on Monday night, making just 109 all out chasing down a target of 151 to win. We Durston top-scored with 21.

Their previous game with Nottinghamshire was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to bad weather, and their opening match in the competition was also affected by rain as they beat Lancashire by 17 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method.