A MAIDEN Twenty20 half-century by Durham's T20 skipper Paul Coughlin proved in vain as they ended their home programme in the NatWest Blast with an eight-wicket mauling by Birmingham Bears.

Even without Chris Woakes, Jonathan Trott, Rikki Clarke, Tim Ambrose and Keith Barker, the team generally known as Warwickshire chased down Durham's 145 for eight with 5.1 overs to spare.

It was the junior Bears who enjoyed a picnic as ex-Durham University left-hander Ed Pollock and Dominic Sibley showed the sort of voracious appetite which underlines that T20 is becoming a young man's game.

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Durham fans had cause to question whether 21-year-old Sibley is not a better long-term prospect than Mark Stoneman after being forced to leave Surrey following the arrival of two Durham players.

The youngest player to score a championship double century, he showed he is also very adept at the shortest format as he made an unbeaten 51 off 38 balls.

He was left in the blocks, however, by Pollock, who hails from Buckinghamshire. He had given little hint of his striking power in playing for the university against Durham, and surprised a good-sized crowd by dominating as 51 came off the first four overs.

His swivel pull produced two of the four sixes in his 25-ball 52 and he was denied a fifth by an athletic leap from Graham Clark, who palmed the ball back from above the rope at deep square.

Both wickets fell to Ryan Pringle as Pollock skied to the wicketkeeper and Colin de Grandhomme drove to long-on after making 34 off 22 balls.

Coughlin has struggled with the ball in this series, but has emerged as Durham's most effective middle order basher, hitting three sixes in making 53 off 37 balls.

The contest looked as good as over when he went in with Durham on 30 for four after six overs after the top order subsided meekly.

Keaton Jennings was the first to go. After struggling to four off ten balls on his return to county duty against Worcestershire on Friday evening, this time he stroked the first ball of the match, from ex-Northants paceman Olly Stone, to the extra cover boundary.

But he added only a single before lobbing Jeetan Patel's second ball to short mid-wicket.

Three balls later Paul Collingwood advanced to loft Patel over long-off for six, but it was his only scoring shot as he aimed to smash Stone over mid-wicket and fell lbw.

Tom Latham spooned Stone gently to mid-off in the same over, then Clark made 12 before cracking a short ball from Oliver Hannon-Dalby straight to extra cover.

After being dismissed once in totalling 134 runs in his last three T20 innings, Michael Richardson briefly promised to repair the damage in a stand of 28 with Coughlin.

But straight after bisecting the fielders placed for the shot with an excellent reverse sweep he stepped across to work Patel's next ball to leg and Michael Gough had no hesitation in giving him out lbw.

Coughlin scored the bulk of the runs in propelling the score from a paltry 68 after 12 overs to 110 after 15. Having already clubbed Hannon-Dalby wide of long-on for six, he handed to same treatment to de Grandhomme then, when Stone returned for his final over, the first ball was picked up into the stand over mid-wicket.

Coughlin drove the next ball fiercely down the ground to complete his 50 off 34 balls, only to fall for 53 when he skied Grant Elliott to extra cover.

Stuart Poynter drove Elliott over long-on for six on his way to a sprightly unbeaten 36, but hopes that Durham had a competitive total were swiftly dashed by Pollock and Sibley.