Durham last night lost again in one-day cricket from a promising position, as Sussex recorded a three-wicket win at Hove.
The visitors set a challenging target of 288 for Sussex to reach in the Royal London One-Day Cup Group B match, after Mark Stoneman (58), Scott Borthwick (67) and Paul Collingwood (67) all posted decent totals.
And with Sussex reduced to 191-7 with 16 overs still to go, it looked as though Durham were in the box seat.
But an excellent 97-run partnership between Will Beer (45) and Yasir Arafat (55) steered the home side through to victory.
Meanwhile, Tom Westley and Matt Salisbury starred for Essex as they easily beat Lancashire by six wickets in the Royal London Cup at Chelmsford to claim their second win in the competition.
After the 21-year-old right-arm seamer picked up a career-best four for 55 in his allocation of 10 overs, Westley struck a superb 84 as his side got home with 71 deliveries to spare.
On a pitch containing very little pace, the 25-year-old right-hander was on course for his third limited-overs century of the summer until he hit off-spinner Arron Lilley to deepish mid-wicket, where Steven Croft dived forward to pull off a fine catch.
Until that moment, Westley’s only moment of indiscretion came when he edged Kyle Jarvis into the hands of Ashwell Prince at second slip with only four to his name. But the delivery was deemed a no-ball and Westley went on to drive and pull with increasing authority to take the game away from the visitors.
His runs came from 91 balls and with the help of 10 fours and he shared in half-century stands with Greg Smith (27) and Kishen Velani (23) before he was dismissed.
Westley’s departure came with the total on 169 in the 30th over, but his dismissal only brought together Jesse Ryder and Ryan ten Doeschate, and they hit a flurry of boundaries to condemn Lancashire to their third defeat in as many matches in the competition.
Ryder finished unbeaten with 71 from 52 balls that contained 10 boundaries including one six, while his skipper ended with 26 during an unbroken stand of 80 in nine overs. Lancashire’s batsmen had earlier struggled to make an impact, managing only 31 in the 10 overs of powerplay, during which they lost Usman Khawaja when he drove Graham Napier to mid-on.
Karl Brown needed 79 balls to gather a laborious 47 before he was caught behind by James Foster off Ten Doeschate, the bowler having put him down in the covers shortly before. That left Lancashire 114 for three in the 30th over.
Paul Horton needed 55 deliveries to make 49, driving a return catch to Salisbury, while the young paceman also got rid of top scorer Croft for 51 from 59 balls with the help of wicket-keeper Foster. Salisbury’s other victims were Wayne White and Prince who drove to Ten Doeschate stationed at mid-on to end an innings of 18 which comprised 40 deliveries.
The visitors only made steady rather than spectacular progress throughout their innings with the only six coming off the last ball of the innings when Jordan Clark lifted a Salisbury delivery into the crowd.
Essex’s success was only their second victory in their last seven one-day matches and ended a run of four successive defeats at Chelmsford to get their white ball season back on track.
Essex batsman Westley said: “It was a convincing performance and a fine all-round effort. I thought our bowlers executed their skills particularly well to restrict Lancashire to less than 250.
“Personally I was disappointed to get out for 84 because I felt that I should have gone on to make a century, but Jesse Ryder and Ryan ten Doeschate played superbly and got us comfortably over the line.”
Lancashire assistant coach Gary Yates said: “It felt as though we were short with 247, no doubt about that.
“It was a good toss to win because the pitch was a bit sticky this morning and there was a slight bit of dampness. Napier and Masters are quality bowlers, and they exposed it.”