FINN ALLEN'S explosive 66 set Lancashire up for a thrilling six-run Vitality Blast win over Durham that kept them on track for the quarter-finals.

The New Zealand opener dominated as the Lightning recorded 199 for five at Old Trafford.

Durham, out of contention with this defeat, raced to 78 without loss after six overs in reply as David Bedingham made 50 off 24.

Sean Dickson’s 53 off 33 then took the target to 15 off the last over, but Danny Lamb defended it as the visitors finished on 193 for five.

A Lancashire home win over Yorkshire in their final North Group fixture on Saturday will secure qualification.

Allen crashed eight fours and three sixes in 28 balls. His 21-ball fifty was one slower than Jos Buttler’s Lightning record.

He shared 101 in 8.1 overs with former Durham batsman Keaton Jennings after Lightning captain Dane Vilas had won the toss.

Jennings (43) and Alex Davies (56) provided excellent support to give Lancashire a stronghold at the halfway mark.

Scott Borthwick, the pick of Durham’s bowlers with two for 30, had Allen caught at long-off to break the opening stand before he had Jennings caught at short fine-leg sweeping.

Durham raced out of the blocks in reply, bettering Lancashire in the power play by three runs at 78 without loss.

South African Bedingham, like Allen earlier, was strong down the ground while Graham Clark played the support role in their 88-run opening stand and made 37.

But momentum swung back towards the Lightning in the space of two overs.

Clark found long-on off Steven Croft’s off-spin in the eighth before Tom Hartley had Bedingham caught at short third-man off a miscue in the ninth, shortly followed by Cameron Bancroft’s wicket to make it 96 for three.

Dickson kept the game very much alive. By the time he had reached 40, Durham were 158 for four after 17, needing 38 more.

But he holed out off Luke Wood at the end of the 19th over, leaving Brydon Carse and Ben Raine with a task that was just too tall.