Stoneman left gutted by Durham Jets’ T20 failure against Lancashire Lightning
A sparkling 51 from 29 balls for Stoneman, at the top of the order, was not enough to see Durham post a total that would challenge Lancashire at the Emirates ICG.
The hosts were bowled out for 141 in the last of their 20 overs, then Lancashire opener Ashwell Prince took home the man-of-the-match award after steering Lancashire home thanks to his unbeaten 63 from 51 balls.
The defeat dropped Durham to fifth place in the table, outside the four qualification slots for the quarter-finals.
Stoneman said: ““We butchered it after a great start. We should have had 170-180 and I have to take some responsibility myself for getting out when I did.
“In the middle period, we couldn’t find the boundary and it just absolutely stifled any momentum that we did have.
“After the first 10 or 11 overs, we were in a position where we think ‘we can get a proper total on the board here and keep Lancashire out of the game’, but it wasn’t to be.”
Ahead of the game, Durham had lost their previous two home T20 matches against Birmingham and Worcestershire, and this defeat was the first time they had lost three in a row at home since 2010.
The Durham captain was the only batter to make the most of powerplay overs, smashing Lancashire’s opening bowlers around the ground on the way to reaching his 50.
The rest of the top order struggled to find any fluency, with Usman Arshad (11) and Paul Collingwood (25) the only other batters in the top six to reach double figures.
Durham were 93-3 after 10 overs but were throttled by Lancashire’s three spinners, Arron Lilley, Stephen Parry and Steven Croft.
They had combined figures of four for 61 in 11 overs, which enabled Kyle Jarvis to pick up two late wickets and finish with 3-24 in his first T20 appearance, despite being taken for 18 off his first over by Stoneman and Phil Mustard..
There were also three wickets for Australian star James Faulkner, who hit two big leg-side sixes in helping Prince to take Lancashire within sight of victory.
Only 12 were needed when he was sensationally caught on the mid-wicket boundary for 23. Ryan Pringle took the catch, but, as he slid towards the rope, he flipped the ball up for Scott Borthwick to juggle before clinging on.
It did not stop Lancashire easing home with 11 balls to spare go, ousting Durham from fourth spot by virtue of a superior run rate.
Jarvis redeemed himself after conceding 14 runs and four leg byes in the game’s opening over.
After choosing to bat, Stoneman opened up with a 28-ball half-century. It was only his third in T20 cricket and two of them have come against Lancashire this season. He reached it with his sixth four off the second ball of the 11th over, but that was the last time Durham found the boundary.
Stoneman square-drove spinner Lilley to the rope to reach 51, but then went down the pitch to a leg-stump ball and missed it. He seemed to think he had been stumped, but the third umpire confirmed he was bowled.
Prince was dropped three times, the first by Keaton Jennings off the fourth ball of the innings from John Hastings, then by Borthwick at long off in the 13th (when he was 36 not out) before Pringle spilled a tough caught and bowled chance on 46. Otherwise he looked in control as he worked the ball into spaces to reach 50 off 42 balls.
Durham’s bowlers took charge in the middle overs, but when Lancashire needed 43 off the last five overs, the pressure was eased by Faulkner smashing Pringle high over mid-wicket for six.
And when he repeated the shot off Usman Arshad it was as good as over.
Stoneman said: “We’re more than capable of putting in better performances than this so we’ll come back hard in the games we have remaining, try and get the points and get ourselves through to knockout cricket.”