NatWest T20 Blast: Lancashire best Durham to clinch top spot
Last Updated: 25/07/14 12:08am
Lancashire secured top spot in the NatWest T20 Blast North Division with a 27-run win against Durham at Emirates Old Trafford.
The Lightning won their sixth straight match and their 10th of out of 14 in all as they completed their group campaign with a routine victory.
Usman Khawaja, playing for the first time in Twenty20 this season, top scored with 44 as the hosts set a total of 164-8 which the Jets never realistically looked like chasing down.
Kyle Jarvis, also playing his first 20-over match for Lancashire this year, took 2-25 from four overs to stymie the visitors, while Kabir Ali finished with figures of 3-19. Phil Mustard top-scored for Durham with 49.
Khawaja and Ashwell Prince (43) took advantage of some poor leg-side bowling before Durham, led by their experienced West Indian off-spinner Gareth Breese, improved with some effect to restrict Lancashire to a total within reach.
The wicket of Prince, bowled by Breese with the first ball of the eighth over, was the first of five to fall for 23 runs in 32 balls as the Lightning slipped to 107-5 in the 13th.
Breese struck three times for 19 runs in four overs while his partner in crime Paul Collingwood finished with 2-21.
Steven Croft's 31 off 28, including the only six of the innings, helped to get Lancashire moving again but three late wickets, including two for the medium pace of Keaton Jennings, ensured there was not too much damage done.
Durham's reply got off to a slow start and the pressure paid off in the fourth over when Scott Borthwick (5) chipped Wayne White to mid-off with the score on 12.
Durham reached halfway well behind schedule on 49-3 and did not manage to mount what would have been a miraculous turnaround in the final 10 overs.
Mustard holed out to deep backward square leg against Ali with the last ball of the 17th over and the Jets eventually finished on 137-7.