D’Arcy Short believes that Durham have to play with a fearless attitude in their final two Vitality Blast North Group matches after suffering a costly defeat at the hands of the Yorkshire Vikings.

Durham, who face Birmingham Bears at Emirates Riverside today, allowed another golden opportunity to slip through their hands to enhance their claim for a knockout place in the competition. After restricting the Vikings to 146 for six from their 20 overs, openers Short and Scott Steel handed them a brilliant start to the chase, knocking off 64 in powerplay.

However, once both players were dismissed by the brilliant Jack Shutt, the home side’s lower and middle order failed to carry them over the line losing by 14 runs at Emirates Riverside, despite needing only a run-a-ball at one stage.

Short insists that he and his team-mates have to play without fear and with greater composure to have any chance of securing a berth in the quarter-finals of the Blast.

“I don’t know exactly what the situation is, but I think we can still advance if we win both games,” he said.

“We’ve got to throw caution to the wind. We’ve got to play without fear and go out there and have fun. We’re lacking a bit of that fearless attitude and committing to what we’re doing.

“The lack of experience at the lower order could have something to do with it, but our top-order batsmen are not standing up and finishing it off. If you want to be harsh about it I was on 29 when I was out and Steel was on 49. The top four should really be finishing it off from where we were. It’s not on the lower order, it’s on the entire batting group.

“I think there are boundaries to be found here if you commit. Being out here sometimes it can look a bit daunting, but you have to commit no matter what you do. I don’t think we’re quite doing that at the moment. We’re a young side and we can obviously work out way into it and improve. Hopefully we can finish off the group stage by doing that.”

Despite Durham’s issues elsewhere in the batting line-up, Short has enjoyed and excellent relationship with Steel at the top of the innings, putting together six stands of over fifty for the opening wicket.

The 29-year-old has praised the performances of his partner, who has notched 324 runs in his nine Blast matches, and feels that playing at the Riverside will benefit Steel in his career as well as his own due to the differences with pitches back in Australia.

“He’s a good young player and it’s about keeping him calm in the middle,” Short said.

“We just try to keep things positive out there. He’s definitely a talent and hopefully he can produce over the next two matches as well.

“It’s a good experience playing at the Riverside not only for Scott but for myself. Wickets are different here, they’re not as fast and the ball does not come on as fast. The wicket against Yorkshire quickened up a little bit at the start so we’re very disappointed that we didn’t get over the line.”