DURHAM'S change of tactics in batting second backfired when their attempt to chase a reachable target at Trent Bridge stuttered in mid-innings yesterday and they lost by 15 runs.

After batting first when winning three of their first four NatWest T20 Blast matches, they put Nottinghamshire in and were reasonably pleased to restrict them to 175 for seven.

Usman Arshad did particularly well in taking two for 19, especially as two of his four overs were bowled at the death.

But Durham had no-one to match the batting of Riki Wessels, who followed innings of 117 and 42 not out in last month's championship clash at Chester-le-Street by making 67 off 41 balls.

Durham closed on 160 for six with Gordon Muchall unbeaten yet again in reaching 42 off 30 balls.

Skipper Mark Stoneman said: “We looked at the angles of the boundaries and the fact that it was a used pitch and we weren't sure how things would pan out, so decided to put them in.

“Coming off at half-time we knew we had a decent surface to bat on and with a few wind-assisted hits we felt it was a reachable target.

“It was tough for anyone bowling into the wind and from the other end there was a short leg-side boundary. We lost momentum when we lost two wickets in two balls in mid-innings and once the rate gets above 12 an over it's tough.”

There is nearly always a pivotal moment in these matches and in this case it was the tenth over of each innings, which both teams went into on 62 for two.

But whereas the Outlaws snatched 19 off an over from Ryan Pringle, Durham were restricted to six by Steven Mullaney's gentle floaters.

It meant 108 were needed off the last ten and the pressure resulted in a double strike for West Indian Darren Sammy, removing Calum MacLeod and Paul Collingwood in successive balls after they had put on 47.

MacLeod top-edged a paddle to fine leg and Collingwood was bowled when trying to whip to leg off the back foot.

Arshad opened with two excellent overs, keeping the ball full and straight, but it was Paul Coughlin who claimed the scalp of T20 kingpin Alex Hales.

After picking up Coughlin's second ball for six over backward square leg, Hales hit the fourth straight down Scott Borthwick's throat at deep mid-wicket.

In the third over Arshad nonchalantly caught a fierce return drive from Brendan Taylor in front of his face.

Coughlin bowled three of the six powerplay overs into the wind and Wessels pulled and drove him for two sixes.

Samit Patel had been in five overs for seven when he lifted Pringle to deep square leg, where Muchall slightly misjudged what could have been a half chance.

The ball went for four and released Patel's brake as he drove the first two balls for four and six in Pringle's second over then drove him over extra cover for another six.

After his four-wicket haul in Friday's win against Yorkshire, Keaton Jennings came on for the 12th over and Wessels lofted his first ball high over mid-on.

What proved a crucial stand of 100 in 11 overs ended when Patel skied Coughlin to mid-off to depart for 46.

But the last ball of the over was a full toss, which Wessels smashed deep into the seating over square leg before driving his fifth six over long-on when Jennings switched ends.

Wessels finally paddled a low catch to Hastings at backward square leg, and Arshad continued to be the pick of the bowlers, conceding five in each of the 17th and 19th overs, which kept the target within bounds.

The reply started badly when Stoneman pulled Jake Ball straight to deep mid-wicket, but after struggling in the last two games MacLeod was soon timing his trick shots to perfection.

Phil Mustard fell for 11, chipping the burly Luke Fletcher to the tubby Patel on the edge of the circle at mid-off.

MacLeod and Collingwood kept Durham afloat, but the pressure mounted swiftly after the tenth over. Hastings skied an attempted big hit to backward point and hope had all but vanished by the time Pringle and Muchall thrashed 22 off the 16th over, Mullaney's last.

It still left 55 needed off four and when Pringle's sprightly knock of 25 off 12 balls ended in the 19th over it became a hopeless cause.