THE joy of Jack Burnham's maiden T20 half-century was tempered by a second defeat of the weekend for Durham and he said: “There's only one way for us to go – that's up.”

The repeat of last year's final at a packed Edgbaston did not have the same sense of occasion at an Emirates Riverside ground which was less than a quarter full with a crowd of 3,657.

That was 1,500 down from Friday night's 52-run defeat by Lancashire, but this time the fans were treated to an exciting finish. Led by Ben Duckett's 72 off 56 balls, Northamptonshire chased down Durham's 161 for seven to win by six wickets with four balls to spare.

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“We had clearer plans than on Friday and batted with positive intent,” said Burnham, who followed his match-winning 93 not out at Chesterfield on Thursday with 53 not out off 41 balls “It's been a good day for me to score more runs after coming back from injury and repay the coaches' faith,” he added.

“It's all about confidence and I wasn't too worried about facing their chinaman bowler. I faced someone like him in India a couple of years ago and I think reading a spinner's variations is one of my strengths.”

The bowler in question was South African left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, who played a crucial part with two for 20 in four overs.

While Durham were unable to find a late substitute for Tom Latham, Shamsi has been brought in for three games until Sri Lankan Seekkuge Prasanna becomes available.

Durham were without five players from the final – their Test trio plus Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick - while Northants fielded nine of their champion line-up.

Burnham lacked support in the closing overs of Durham's innings as he completed his 50 in the final over by stepping across to scoop Ben Sanderson to fine leg. That brought his third four and he added two big sixes.

Durham had hopes of reaching 180 while he was putting on 57 in six overs with Paul Collingwood, who also hit two sixes in his 38 off 28 balls. But once he was out three more wickets fell and only 35 runs came off the last five overs.

It was the batting of Josh Cobb which carried Northants home in the final and he was quickly in the action yesterday as both Durham's openers hit catches straight to him.

He was on the fielding circle 45 degrees behind square when Graham Clark picked him out, and again scarcely had to move at mid-on to catch Adam Hickey for 15.

Hickey hit a couple of nice leg-side fours in helping Durham to a very respectable 33 after four overs, but he probably needed more if he is not to be the one to make way for Latham.

It was looking good for Durham when both Burnham and Michael Richardson pulled the other left-arm spinner, Graeme White, for six.

But in the next over Richardson sat back to cut Shamsi and after lengthy consideration umpire Neil Mallender gave him out caught behind. The batsman looked aghast and replays suggested it had come off his pad.

Collingwood got the board moving with two sixes. He picked up Steven Crook's medium pace over mid-wicket and when Northants tried a third spinner in Cobb his second ball was driven straight down the ground.

Burnham also pulled a six in the same over, but that was the end of the spree as Shamsi returned for his final over and Cobb held his third catch, low down at extra cover, to see off Collingwood.

His exit stymied hopes of a storming climax as Rory Kleinveldt picked up three wickets. Paul Coughlin chipped to mid-wicket, Stuart Poynter was bowled first ball and Ryan Pringle lofted to mid-off.

Duckett's only six came when he paddled Chris Rushworth to fine leg in the third over before a similar shot just cleared the man on the ring.

After that the little left-hander settled for calm accumulation and always seemed to have things under control. It was a surprise when he reverse-swept to point with 29 needed off 3.2 overs.

Durham's superior athleticism restricted their visitors' ability to run twos.

Nor could Northants clear the rope with ease as it was pushed well back and both Cobb and skipper Alex Wakely were caught just inside the leg-side boundary by Burnham.

Wakely's departure for 27 in the 18th over left Rob Keogh and Steven Crook to score 18 off two. But Keogh collected two boundaries off Usman Arshad then hit James Weighell over mid-off for the winning four.

Chris Rushworth is in the MCC team to play Afghanistan at Lord’s tomorrow in a historic 50-over match.

He will be joined by former Durham players Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Kumar Sangakkara in a star-studded line-up captained by former New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum.

Afghanistan, who will be playing at Lord’s for the first time, were recently awarded Test status.