Another impressive knock from Ed Barnard was in vain for Worcestershire Rapids who went down by 13 runs in this evening’s NatWest T20 Blast clash with Durham Jets at the Emirates.
The all-rounder – who struck 60 not out and 45 in the Specsavers County Championship clash with Sussex this week – hit an unbeaten 34 off 18 balls with one six and four fours.
But the Rapids had fallen too far behind the required rate in pursuit of a 166 target and closed on 152-5.
It ends their faint hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Keaton Jennings enjoyed more success with the ball than the bat on his return to the Durham side.
Available for the first time in the series after being dropped from the England Test side, the left-hander continued to look out of touch as he scored four from ten balls before driving at George Scrimshaw and being caught behind.
But his gentle medium pace earned two for seven in his first three overs, stifling the Rapids after they had reached 78 for one after ten overs in reply to 165 for five.
Once Jennings had Ben Cox caught at long-on for 34 off 24 balls, Worcestershire were under pressure and three more batsmen quickly followed.
Mitchell Santner (28), who had driven Ryan Pringle for an imperious straight six, lifted the off-spinner to deep mid-wicket, Brett D’Oliveira (10) was bowled off his pads by Jennings, and Ross Whiteley (6) clubbed Barry McCarthy to long-on.
It was left to Daryl Mitchell and Barnard to score 41 off the last three overs.
Barnard hit McCarthy for six over extra cover off a free hit and ‘ramped’ the same bowler for four but the Rapids fell just short.
A classy innings of 62 off 40 balls from Tom Latham, plus a decisive unbeaten 49 off 30 balls by Michael Richardson, lifted Durham to their competitive total.
With a little help from Stuart Poynter, Richardson took 49 off the last four overs, hitting four fours and a pulled six.
In the Jets innings, Josh Tongue bowled two initial overs for 10 runs but once again it was the bowlers who took the pace off the ball who enjoyed the most success as scoring became more difficult.
Mitchell and D’Oliveira bowled in tandem for eight successive overs and returned figures of 1-22 and 0-30 respectively while Santner finished with 1-34 after conceding 16 in his final over.
A brilliant catch by Mitchell at backward point – diving low to his right – accounted for Latham off Alex Hepburn.
Worcestershire looked to have laid a solid platform with the bat and the Cox-Santner half century stand came up in six overs with the former lofting Paul Collingwood for six and reverse sweeping for four in the same over.
But Jennings struck in his first over in accounting for Cox, Santner went in the next from Pringle and the scoring rate climbed until Barnard’s brave but vain finale.