Lancashire confirm Quarter Final spot with victory over Durham
Lancashire complete 65-run win over Durham
Alex Davies continued his outstanding T20 form to help Lancashire Lightning confirm their place in the Vitality Blast quarter finals after a 65-run victory over Durham Jets at Emirates Riverside on Sunday afternoon.
Durham came into the game having won eight wins from nine, but they crashed to 4/4 in reply to Lancashire 143/6 and were eventually bowled out for 78 after 15.2 overs.
Lancashire will finish their campaign at Edgbaston on Wednesday, whilst Durham take on Derbyshire on Friday with Glen Chapple's side just one point behind them.
Lancashire also made a troubled start after being put in under heavy skies following rain at Chester-le-Street, but they recovered from six for two through Davies' sixth half-century from 12 innings.
His 64 from 62 balls contained only six fours, but his bustling style kept the score ticking over while holding things together before he fell to the last ball of the innings.
Liam Trevaskis, who took three wickets when Lancashire needed only six runs off the final over against Durham at Emirates Old Trafford, was absent ill and Durham relied on seam until leg-spinner Ben Whitehad bowled two tidy overs late in the innings.
Only two came off Chris Rushworth's opening over then Karl Brown drove at Mark Wood's second ball and lost his off stump. Four balls later a wild heave across the line resulted in Aaron Lilley edging behind and only 14 came from the first four overs.
Davies and Dane Vilas cut loose with 27 off the next two, only for Vilas to drive well wide of off stump at Nathan Rimmington's first ball and edge a second catch to Stuart Poynter.
The same combination accounted for Jordan Clark after a 20-minute rain break and at the halfway stage Lancashire were 63 for four.
Steven Croft contributed 30 to a stand of 47 before skying Rimmington to short fine leg and the Australian finished with four for 28 when Davies fell in identical fashion to Vilas.
James Faulkner followed his unbeaten 18 by swinging one away to have Durham skipper Tom Latham caught behind third ball. Will Smith edged a drive two overs later and Graham Clark went the same way against Toby Lester.
Paul Collingwood drove Lester straight to short extra cover, but rather than go for the jugular Lancashire rested Faulkner with figures of 2-1-3-2 and Durham briefly got into the game with 24 off two overs from Danny Lamb.
But after the two wicketkeepers, Poynter and Ryan Davies, had put on 40 Matt Parkinson accepted a return catch off his first ball to remove Poynter. Although Davies swept him for six on his way to the top score of 27, the leg-spinner finished with three for 19 and 19-year-old Afghanistan spinner Zahir Khan wrapped it up with two for eight.