DURHAM contrived to lose a low scoring Vitality Blast game against Worcestershire Rapids by three runs at Emirates Riverside.

The Rapids struggled to put runs on the board after being put into the bat. Durham restricted the visitors to 117-7 from their 20 overs as Matty Potts claimed a career-best 3-22, while Tom Fell top scored with 29. Worcestershire's total looked well short of a competitive total, especially after Scott Steel and D'Arcy Short made a dominant start.

However, once the Durham openers were dismissed, Worcestershire took control.

The rest of the home side's batting line-up succumbed the pressure of the chase. Pat Brown held his nerve from the final over to secure the win for the Rapids, keeping them on course for a place in the quarter-finals of the competition, while the hosts, who go to Yorkshire tonight, were made to rue a costly collapse.

Martin Guptill tormented Durham in the earlier meeting between the two sides, scoring an unbeaten 86 at Blackfinch New Road.

Durham would have feared the worst when Liam Trevaskis put down the New Zealander off his own bowling from first ball of the game. However, Guptill slapped the second ball straight to Graham Clark at cover, allowing Trevaskis to breathe a sigh of relief.

The Rapids struggled to find the fence in the powerplay amid tight bowling from the hosts. Riki Wessels attempted to up the ante, striking Potts' first delivery over his head for a boundary. However, his next effort landed safely into the grasp of Brydon Carse. Frustration then got the better of Callum Ferguson in his innings of 18, playing on to his stumps from an attempted cut shot against Carse.

Durham's bowlers remained in control and Steel entered the wicket column as Wayne Parnell sent a hopeful drive straight down the throat of Potts at long on, leaving the visitors in trouble at 53-4 in the 11th over. Tom Fell was the one Rapids' batsman that was in tune with the pace of the pitch. He dispatched Short into the stand with a slog sweep before belting a short delivery from Liam Trevaskis down the ground.

Trevaskis had his revenge by bowling Fell for 29 from the following ball. Worcestershire's bid to accelerate was restricted by the hosts in the closing overs, striking with regularity while boundaries were at a premium. Potts claimed the wickets of Ben Cox and Ed Barnard, although the Rapids did end the innings with Ross Whiteley pulling to the fence to set Durham a total of 118 to win.

Steel and Short were measured at the start of the chase, taking calculated risks to propel their side above the required run rate. Steel notched the first six of the innings, blasting Dillon Pennington over his head and into the stand. Unlike the Rapids, the duo were able to time the ball, reaching their 50 partnership in the eighth over.

Short began to assert himself at the crease, pulling a half-tracker from Barnard into the Don Robson Pavilion. Barnard displayed resilience to fight back in the same over to remove Steel for 31, breaking the opening stand at 79. The game then turned on its head when Daryl Mitchell struck in successive deliveries to dismiss Graham Clark and Short, who was caught on the boundary for 42.

The Rapids put the clamps on the new batsmen, which saw the required rate climb. Peter Handscomb succumbed to the pressure slicing a delivery from Brown straight up to allow Parnell to take a simple catch. Parnell then delivered in his next over to dismiss Jack Burnham, raising the tension at the Riverside. Nine runs were required from the final over and Brown held his composure to complete a victory.