DURHAM JETS grasped defeat from the jaws of victory in their T20 Blast match against Worcestershire last night – when so many times this season it has been the other way around.

Durham looked dead and buried a week ago at Derby, but fought back to take victory, but at Emirates ICG last night, what promised to be a straightforward win crumbled to ensure that the Rapids headed home with the victory.

It looked as though the hosts would make light work of their target of 160, but the early dismissal of Mark Stoneman and a middle order collapse ensured that Worcestershire Rapids’ 159-5 was sufficient to take the points, Durham losing by three runs.

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Once Phil Mustard had been dismissed for 43, Durham’s innings collapsed – leaving the wicketkeeper baffled by their submission.

“It’s a very disappointing result. We were in pole position,” Mustard said. “We’ve had a big chat in the dressing room about it. We needed 54 with seven wickets in hand and for a team of our stature we should never get beat from that position.

“The boys are very disappointed. We didn’t perform to our ability today and it was a very disappointing day.

“I don’t think it was a case of lack of trying. You have to look at the bigger picture, we should have never taken it down to the last two overs, that’s the biggest disappointment in the dressing room.

“It was a pretty good pitch and we thought 160 was an attainable target.

“Last week at Derby we were down and out and we won it. It’s a bit of cat and mouse, that’s the thing about T20, you’re never out of the game and you’re never safe.

“We’re not in the driving seat. We’re going to have a break, and we’ll come back refreshed, but we’re very disappointed in the result.”

Winning the toss, the Rapids’ innings was held together by Daryl Mitchell, who led the way for the visitors with 56 from 49 balls, while Tom Kohler-Cadmore carried his bat for 53.

England all-rounder Moeen Ali opened up for Worcestershire and looked in good nick until being caught by Keaton Jennings at the legside boundary in the sixth over off Chris Rushworth. Ali’s innings included three fours and a six, after he had survived an appeal for LBW in the first over.

Richie Oliver followed Ali in the seventh over, caught behind at short third man by Rushworth off Paul Collingwood’s fifth ball.

But Worcestershire settled down with the introduction of Kohler-Cadmore, alongside Mitchell the partnership yielded 76 for the third wicket, easing to 74-2 at the halfway mark.

Mitchell had brought his half century up with a four off the bowling of Collingwood, while Kohler-Cadmore followed up with three boundaries in two overs as the Rapids threatened to take control.

However, Durham tightened up and Mitchell was dismissed in the 17th over courtesy of Usman Arshad, Calum MacLeod taking the catch, before the Durham bowler trapped Ross Whiteley in the same over for a duck.

Colin Munro was let down heavily by Kohler-Cadmore after his partner dropped his bat in between the wickets in allowing the batsman to be run out in the 19th, before Kohler-Cadmore brought up his 50 in the final over.

Durham’s reply got off to a perfect start as Mark Stoneman eased the hosts to 40 without loss after three overs, notching up a magnificent 18 runs from one Ed Barnard over.

But the Durham opener – after Saeed Ajmal bowled a maiden– was dismissed off the first ball of the fifth over off Jack Shantry when he toe-ended a lofty drive, caught at mid-off by Kohler-Cadmore.

Mitchell proved to be a thorn in the hosts’ side with two wickets in two balls, dismissing MacLeod for 13 and sending Collingwood back to the dugouts for a duck as Durham stuttered to 87-3 at the halfway mark.

Mustard gave Durham a fighting chance with his 43, which included two fours and two sixes, but was caught at long point in the 14th over after miscuing a reverse sweep.

Ryan Pringle followed after he was stumped by Ben Cox after he came down the wicket from an Ajmal delivery but fluffed his lines as Durham teetered on 112-5.

Hastings was run out for four in the 16th over before Ross Whiteley caught Usman Arshad at the boundary off Ajmal’s delivery in the 18th.

Durham finally found the boundary from their last two balls courtesy of Gordon Muchall, but it was too little, too late as the hosts fell short.