Durham Jets eased to an impressive six-wicket NatWest T20 Blast victory against Lancashire Lightning at Old Trafford last night.
A fine half-century on debut by Martin Guptill could not prevent holders Lancashire slumping to their second successive defeat.
Guptill made 72 off 46 balls but the New Zealand opener’s efforts were eclipsed by Phil Mustard, whose 46 off 18 balls included five fours and three sixes and put Durham on course to overhaul Lightning’s plainly inadequate 149-8.
Graham Clark then took centre stage with 36 off 27 balls as the Jets romped home with five overs to spare.
Usman Arshad gave Durham the ideal start, dismissing Alviro Petersen and Karl Brown in successive balls in his second over.
Arshad took his third wicket in 10 balls, Jos Buttler skying the seamer on the off side only to see Paul Collingwood take a fine diving catch running back from point.
That left Lancashire on 46-3, but Guptill and Steven Croft repaired some of the damage with a stand of 60 in eight overs.
Guptill hit his only six when he deposited a Scott Borthwick long hop over the rope, however that six was the last boundary for half a dozen overs, during which Lightning lost four wickets, three of them in the same Barry McCarthy over.
The key wicket of Guptill had earlier been taken by McCarthy when the Kiwi pulled the Irish seamer to midwicket, where Borthwick dived backwards to take an outstanding catch.
Collingwood and Borthwick strangled the run-rate. Indeed, there were no weak links in Jets’ attack. McCarthy fully deserved his figures of 3-23 and Arshad finished with 3-30.
The modesty of Lancashire’s total and the limitations of their attack were ruthlessly exposed as Durham scored 43 runs in the first two overs of their innings, Arron Lilley conceding 23 runs off his first six deliveries and Kyle Jarvis leaking 20.
Mark Stoneman fell for 10 in the third over but Mustard was on course to equal his county’s fastest short-form 50, which was achieved off 19 balls by John Hastings against Northants in 2014, when he skied George Edwards to Guptill at square leg.
By then, though, Durham were 73-2 in six overs and the later loss of Clark and Ryan Pringle never looked likely to affect a one-sided encounter.
Michael Richardson completed the victory and finished on 34 not out.