Head coach James Franklin has admitted that Durham “choked” under pressure in their Vitality Blast campaign, which has seen the club miss out on the quarter-finals of the competition.

Durham enjoyed a decent start in the North Group, winning four of their opening nine games to put them on course for a place in the top four.

However, hopes of progressing ebbed away after losing their composure in relatively simple chases against champions Worcestershire Rapids and Yorkshire Vikings on home soil.

Durham slumped to a three-run defeat to the Rapids despite making a blistering start in pursuit of 118, before similarly losing their way to be bowled out for 132 against the Vikings.

Despite winning their final game, at Nottingham on Friday evening, Franklin has lamented his side’s lack of nous in their failure to qualify for the knockout stage, but is hopeful that his players will learn from the experience.

“We choked in both of those games against Worcestershire and Yorkshire,” the New Zealander said.

“We were brilliant in the field, we were brilliant with the ball and the first 12 overs of our batting was brilliant. When a little bit of pressure went on we were unable to keep our composure and keep our heads to get across the line.

“We crumbled under a little bit of pressure. We’ve only got ourselves to blame, but the exciting thing from a coaching perspective is that there’s definitely a lot to work on during the winter for the next campaign.

“It’s still a relatively inexperienced team, we’ve given guys some opportunities. I think once we get through the final game, and hopefully we can finish off on a good note, and once we get through the back end of the season and get into the winter we can start to look at what we really need to work on for next year’s T20 campaign.

“There are still some positives, but I think our batting in the middle overs is definitely something we have to improve if we are going to become a better T20 team.”

Despite Durham’s failure to qualify for the quarter-finals there have been encouraging performances from the younger members of their squad.

Scott Steel has impressed at the top of the order, forming a strong partnership with D’Arcy Short, while Matthew Potts has led the wicket column, notching 15 strikes in his 11 matches to date.

Franklin is extremely confident in the futures of his young stars in the format and has urged them to take any opportunity in the off-season to play franchise cricket should it arise.

“Potts, Steel, [Liam] Trevaskis and [Brydon] Carse these are all young guys that have got a huge amount of potential,” he said.

“They’re getting game time and they’re showing their skills. There’s going to be failure with that rawness and the only way you get better is through experiencing the high and lows of this beautiful game that we play.

“They will be stronger for this year and they can reflect on it through the winter to come back as better players. There is an opportunity for a huge amount of growth with these guys and others in the dressing room.

“By no means are any of these players or this team a finished article. There’s a huge amount of potential in this dressing room for the years to come.

“I think if any of the young players get an opportunity to play franchise cricket then absolutely they should. It’s banking more experience that hopefully you bring back to this dressing room and your better for it for going through different situations, matches and conditions.

“You’ll always be better for it for the experience gained.”