Australian overseas Cameron Bancroft excelled as Durham secured a pair of victories over Nottinghamshire at the Emirates Riverside in the 2XI T20 North Group.
The Test opener scored 61 and 92 respectively in the two games, helping his side to set two formidable totals, and despite a splendid 74* from Joey Evison in the first fixture, and a better than run-a-ball 48 from Ben Compton in the second, the young Notts side twice fell short of their target.
Durham fielded a seasoned eleven for their first fixture of the day as they gear up for their Vitality Blast opener against Yorkshire on Friday, and it was David Bedingham and Bancroft who set the tempo for the home side having won the toss in the first match, scorching 96 from the first eight overs before Notts began to reign the North-East outfit in.
U18 captain Sam King uprooted Bedingham’s leg stump for 55 from 27 deliveries to start the halt, before Ben Raine followed him back to the pavilion trying to clear Ben Martindale at long-on off Liam Patterson-White’s bowling.
Bancroft got to his half-century off 30 balls by pushing through the covers, but was the next to fall soon after when he flat-batted a full King delivery to Toby Pettman at long-on, albeit with the hosted well positioned on 137 off 12.3 overs.
Ned Eckersley contributed 31 off 18 deliveries to elevate the total at the back end of the innings before he was caught at deep mid-wicket, and the host’s momentum stalled with James Hayes picking up three wickets in the closing overs, 197 the eventual target for the visitors.
After a trio of early boundaries, Dane Schadendorf edged through to Eckersley attempting to punch down the ground, and Evison had to watch on as Compton was bowled by Matt Salisbury and Patterson-White chipped to short fine-leg, leaving Notts 78 for three at the halfway point in their reply.
The England U19 international was in good touch as he mixed rotation with clean striking, and he brought up his fifty in 35 balls, but the Green and Golds lost Ben Martindale and Travis Holland in consecutive deliveries in the same over as Evison achieved the landmark.
As the required rate continued to climb, King saw scoring opportunities restricted and the game ebbed away from the visitors in the closing stages with King, Pettman and Barber losing their wickets in the closing overs to finish on 145.
You can view the scorecard for the first fixture here.
A more sedate start to the second fixture cracked into action when Dickson joined Bancroft, now batting at four, after three early wickets for the visitors.
Where powerful boundary hitting wasn’t possible, the pair pushed the rate with an impressive running between the wickets, and accelerated from 84 for three with 10 overs gone.
Over the next 40 balls, Durham added 86 before Dickson was trapped in front by Patterson-White for 66, yet former Notts man Paul Coughlin took the reins and struck 30 from 13 deliveries as the hosts finished on 2018, Bancroft eight short of a century.
After the loss of Dane Schadendorf early, the Green and Golds were unbroken for eight overs, Compton and Evison sharing a partnership worth 67 before the latter was caught off Scott Borthwick’s bowling for 23.
The task for Notts was still a sizable one, 146 off 10.4 overs required, and it was a job made harder once Patterson-White departed for 29 from 17 and two further wickets went down inside six balls.
Just as Compton looked to administer some personal success, he was bowled by Matt Potts in the 18th over two short of his fifty, and Academy duo Fateh Singh and Ben Martindale carried their bats as the away side finished 86 short of their target.
You can view the scorecard for the second fixture here.