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Main Men: Durham

Main Men: Durham

Finalists in 2016, Durham are yet to win a Blast title but have players capable of making life very difficult for Lancashire in tomorrow's opener

Lancashire Lightning get their Vitality Blast campaign underway this Thursday as they travel to the Emirates Riverside to take on Durham.

The Jets finished sixth in the North group last year, while Lancashire finished top of the group. In both T20 meetings between the sides last year, the Red Rose came out on top.

With a comprehensive 72-run win at Emirates Old Trafford, and a five-wicket victory in the reverse fixture, Dane Vilas's men will be looking to put in a similar performance as they aim to get off to a strong start.

Ahead of tomorrow's opener, we take a closer look at three men Durham are likely to field who could cause more than a few problems for the visitors.

MATCH PREVIEW

Scott Steel

Durham-born Scott Steel enjoyed a strong breakthrough summer for the North East club last year, making his first team debut in all three formats and turning heads with some standout performances in white ball cricket.

The all-rounder started 2019 off well, hitting a century in a Second XI friendly against Essex, which persuaded James Franklin to make him a regular in List A cricket.

He followed that up with a half-century in his first Royal London One-Day Cup appearance, and has picked up 227 runs in the eight List A games he has featured in so far.

However, the 21-year-old also impressed throughout the 2019 Vitality Blast campaign, hitting 369 runs in total, which was only second to his batting partner, D’Arcy Short, for Durham.

The pair were little short of formidable at times, one of the most exciting and dynamic opening duos in the competition alongside Somerset's Tom Banton and Babar Azam.

In his 11 career T20 games, he top scored on three occasions and held an average of 33.54, whilst also taking five wickets from 96 balls as bowler with his off-spin.

Steel’s form led to him being handed his first-Class debut towards the back end of last season. 

Matthew Potts

A former England under-19 international, 21-year-old Matthew Potts enjoyed an excellent debut Vitality Blast season in 2019.

The right-arm seamer led the way for Durham last year and had a breakthrough season himself in white ball cricket, taking a haul of 17 wickets throughout the campaign.

On his first T20 appearance for the club, he made a strong start, taking two wickets and delivering some all-important death overs in a seven-run victory over Northampton.

Going at a relatively inexpensive 8.33 per over for a bowler who bowls at both ends of the innings, his changes of pace and variety of deliveries makes him a tricky customer. 

Potts first broke onto the scene for Durham back in 2017, when he was handed his debut in a Specsavers County Championship Division Two game against Kent.

A series of injuries hampered his development but a standout T20 campaign last year should give him the confidence to kick on and be a key bowler for the North East outfit for many years to come.  

Nathan Rimmington

Australian pace bowler, Nathan Rimmington, will captain Durham in this season's competition and has a wealth of experience from playing limited-overs cricket around the world.

The 37-year-old joined the North East outfit in 2018, following previous tastes of English cricket during stints with Hampshire and Derbyshire.

Rimmington also has experiences from further afield, having played in various competitions across the world, which includes the IPL and the Big Bash.

During his time with Durham, the bowler has been a regular wicket taker in both Vitality Blast. Like Potts, he is likely to bowl at the most challenging times of the innings.

Bowling from a low action, his spearing yorker is one to watch out for and he's capable of deceiving slower balls to either restrict batsmen in the powerplay or limit their scoring in the closing overs.

Despite his strong bowling ability, one his highlights for the club came with the bat, as he hit 92 as the nightwatchman to help his side coming from behind in a game against Leicestershire last year in the Championship. 

He was as dangerous in the Vitality Blast last year, finishing with 16 wickets to his name.

MATCH PREVIEW

 
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