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With a brutal win over Northamptonshire, Durham climbed to the top of the North Group table and consigned Northants to the bottom of the table. While they won't be displaced from the top spot regardless of the result in their next game, it could play a vital role where they finish in the group. They take on Lancashire in a home game on Sunday, 12th August. Lancashire are placed third in the points table with 15 points in 12 games. A win here will take them to the second spot, probably ahead of Worcestershire.
Durham became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals with a 12-run victory over Northamptonshire. Durham once again found a way to claw their way back into the game after Northamptonshire reduced the equation to 34 required off 20 deliveries.
After being sent in after losing the toss, Durham scored a respectable 174-run total with everyone chipping in with little cameos. Skipper Tom Latham top scored for them with 33 off 23 deliveries before he was bowled by Seekkuge Prasanna. He together with Collingwood took Durham' score to 76 before perishing in the eighth over. Contributions from Poynter, Davies, and Wood took their total to 174 which eventually proved to be more than enough.
Northants' innings followed the similar pattern as Rushworth, Collingwood, and Rimmington picked wickets at regular intervals. Their bowlers kept things tight in the powerplay as Northants' could score only 37 runs. Sensing the urgency to accelerate, Northamptonshire lost quick wickets and their innings never really took off. They were well within the touching distance with just 34 needed off 20 balls, but Durham then dismissed three batsmen to hand Northants their tenth loss of the season.
TWM Latham, Graham Clark, PD Collingwood, James Weighell, Stuart Poynter, Will Smith, Ryan Davies, M Wood, Nathan Rimmington, Chris Rushworth, Sean Whitehead.
One of the legspinners finally weaved his magic in the Vitality T20 Blast as Lancashire annihilated Birmingham Bears by 37 runs to strengthen their quarter-final chances.
Batting first, the Lightning cruised to a total of 185, riding on excellent innings by Karl Brown and Jordan Clark. Brown laid a solid foundation for them with 41-ball 61 while Clark ensured late-order flourish as he scored 41 in just 25 deliveries. Dane Vilas contributed with a well-made 25, but he departed in a bid to push the scoring rate. It was a good surface to bat on and they needed to make early inroads to challenge the Bears.
It was just what the doctored order as they picked up the crucial wicket of Ian Bell in the second innings of the chase. Thomson and Pollock followed him soon as the Bears were reduced to 26 for three. Just when the Bears were looking to launch after a good partnership between Sam Hain and Adam Hose, Parkinson got rid off Hain which turned out to be a match-defining moment. He went on to pick a couple of more wickets before Faulkner cleaned up the tail handing the Bears a 37-run loss.
Alex Davies, Karl Brown, Arron Lilley, DJ Vilas, Jordan Clark, Steven Croft, James Faulkner, Danny Lamb, Toby Lester, Matt Parkinson, Zahir Khan.
Durham have continuously outperformed as compared to what was expected of them. They've been very consistent in defeating all the top teams and it has been a good team effort from them. Lancashire were, on the other hand, one of the favorites to qualify for the playoffs. Considering the way Durham have held their nerves in the recent games to come back from behind and good form makes them favorites to win the upcoming fixture.