Opening batsman Scott Steel admits he relished batting alongside D’Arcy Short during Durham’s campaign in the Vitality Blast.

The two players forged an impressive partnership at the top of the order, putting on six stands of 50 in 11 matches together.

Only three players scored more runs than Short in the group stage, but Steel more than held his own with the Australian. The 20-year-old notched 369 runs in his 11 innings, including two half-centuries, with a top score of 70.

Although Durham’s openers enjoyed success, the rest of the battling line-up’s struggles resulted in their failure to qualify for the Blast quarter-finals.

Steel has conceded that he and his team-mates were frustrated with their premature exit, but he has admitted that he learned a great deal from his time batting with one of the premier players in the format.

“It was very disappointing that we didn’t manage to get through to the quarter-finals especially after we had quite a good start,” Steel said.

“We had two close games here that we should have won, looking back that’s why we didn’t qualify. We had a good performance to end with at Nottinghamshire, but it was frustrating to fall short.

“It was a great experience to bat with D’Arcy. I did all right and we managed to have quite a few good partnerships. It was great to be out there with him and learn a lot about T20 cricket.

“I learned a lot from him, but probably the biggest lesson was the use of the powerplays. I always thought you had to really whack it and be 40 not out at the end of the six overs. I was watching D’Arcy and he sometimes was only on 15, but would end up with a score in the seventies.

“It’s not about just hitting, it’s about being patient and being able to back yourself to catch up when you’re in.”

Steel has revealed he has no plans as of yet to play limited-overs cricket overseas during the winter, while the looming presence of The Hundred next year has not crossed his mind, despite his impressive debut season in the Blast.

However, the 20-year-old has made a point of earning a spot in Durham’s Specsavers County Championship team, although he has admitted that he may have to wait for his chance.

“I haven’t got anything lined up at the moment, so my plans are to stay here in the winter to work on a few things,” he said.

“I haven’t looked too far into getting picked for The Hundred. If it happens, it happens. If it happens then it would be great, but I’m not looking that far ahead. My bowling could help, although there are a lot of batting all-rounders so we’ll have to see what happens.

“Hopefully I might get a chance to break into the red-ball team in the future. It probably will not come this season, but looking ahead next year I might get the opportunity to play in the County Championship.

“I’m looking to add that to my game to become a well-rounded player against the red ball as well as the white one.”

Durham return to action in the County Championship against Middlesex at Lord’s today.