A 57-ball century from Jonny Bairstow gave Durham Jets too big a target as Yorkshire Vikings plundered their way to a 49-run victory in the NatWest T20 Blast.
The England man picked up the pace in a Yorkshire innings which had lacked impetus prior to his arrival, Bairstow smashing six sixes and eight fours in a convincing display of power hitting.
In reply Durham were never anywhere near the required pace, losing a pair of wickets inside the opening two overs as they missed out on home-and-away victories over their northern rivals.
Phil Mustard offered some resistance with 35, John Hastings adding late bludgeon with a T20 career-high 62, but neither had enough support around them as the rest of Durham’s top and middle order disappointed.
The early signs had seemed promising enough for the Jets, Paul Collingwood demonstrating he has lost none of his trademark agility as he dived swiftly from backward point to catch Vikings captain Aaron Finch from the bowling of Hastings in the opening over.
The Aussie had his second wicket in only his second over when he induced a leading edge from Kane Williamson, skipper Mark Stoneman pouching the high ball to leave the visitors flagging on just 12.
Alex Lees found a couple of boundaries more from fortune than design to move the rate over the seven mark – a healthy after-work crowd of 6,746 basking in the tea-time sun. Loose bowling from Scott Borthwick handed away further initiative as he searched for line and length, Collingwood’s tightening influence providing a timely inroad into an innings as the veteran had Lees caught out in the deep for 29. Bairstow put the hammer down with successive boundaries denting Breese’s figures, the wily spinner hitting back by clean-bowling Adam Lyth for just one as he ripped an off-breaker to its target.
Hastings had his third scalp when birthday boy Chris Rushworth caught Tim Bresnan for the same score on the fine-leg boundary, Bairstow anchoring the innings as his 50 arrived from 39 balls in the 14th over. Usman Arshad disappeared for successive sixes – the second a free hit from a no-ball – Rushworth making a breakthrough as Adil Rashid saw his off stump flying for 29.
Bairstow punished Breese with three sixes in a row over long-on as the innings approached its close, Richard Pyrah caught on the square-leg boundary attempting to loft a full toss out of the ground.
Oliver Robinson went without even facing a ball as slick work from Breese saw him pulling the stump out of the ground after Bairstow had heeved one straight back at the wicket, but Yorkshire’s hero had his century with a huge six over square-leg as Yorkshire ended on 186 for eight.
A required rate of 9.3 an over always seemed a huge hill to climb, and it got even steeper when Stoneman tamely lobbed to mid-on without scoring.
Calum MacLeod was soon joining him in the pavilion with a zero to his name after being bowled by Ryan Sidebottom, Collingwood attempting to add some spine to the response despite the required rate having eased past the 11 mark.
Though he and Phil Mustard tidily got through their strokes there was never any sense they were going to trouble their target, Collingwood losing his balance and lunging to lose his bails for just 14. Gordon Muchall slammed an attempted drive to mid-off with just one to his name, Pringle failing to shine on the day he graduated from Sunderland University as he departed for a golden duck – caught behind.
Hastings at least gave it a lash as the seventh-man drilled a big six in his first over, but when Mustard’s attempted hook went straight above his own head for 35 that was effectively the end of any lingering hopes of a miracle.
Hastings was still intent on going out with a bang, launching a barrage of boundaries in what remained a futile cause.
It at least gave the crowd something to shout about as the late evening shadows lengthened, Borthwick lazily holing one out to square leg as Durham’s troubles deepened.
The rest was simply a formality, despite Hastings’ best efforts, Durham returning to the four-day gametomorrow when Warwickshire are the LV County Championship visitors to the Riverside.