Afridi debut ends in big defeat as Jets are too powerful for Steelbacks

JOY AND PAIN - the Durham players celebrate following the dismissal of Steelbacks opener Richard Levi (Pictures: Ian Horrocks)
JOY AND PAIN - the Durham players celebrate following the dismissal of Steelbacks opener Richard Levi (Pictures: Ian Horrocks)
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Shahid Afridi’s Northants debut ended in disappointment as Durham claimed a 41-run victory via the D/L method.

Legendary Pakistan all-rounder Afridi had claimed two for 28 as the Steelbacks fought back well to limit Durham to 174 for eight.

But the Steelbacks struggled with the bat, limping to 47 for five before the rain cut short the encounter at the Riverside Ground.

Durham had a confident 60 from Callum MacLeod and 51 from Phil Mustard to thank for their total, while Northants battled well with the ball.

Afridi, David Willey, who took two for 28, and Josh Cobb, who got two for 30, did well to stop the home side running away with the game after a strong start.

But Chris Rushworth and Usman Arshad took control with the ball to leave Northants wondering what might have been as the clouds rolled in.

Afridi had been attracting plenty of interest, but it was another overseas recruit, Rory Kleinveldt, who lit the blue touch paper for the Steelbacks early on.

The big South African bowler bamboozled Mark Stoneman, who departed without notching a run.

Stoneman’s replacement at the crease, MacLeod, wasted no time in starting the engine as he fired three successive fours off the bowling of Willey.

MacLeod wasn’t fussy which bowler he picked on as he also smashed Ollie Stone and Steven Crook around the ground.

The Scottish bastman reached his 50 from 23 balls with a boundary that came despite him hitting the ground in the process of playing the shot.

Northants needed a response and they called on Afridi in the bid to put a stop to Durham’s momentum, which had carried the hosts to 72 for one from seven overs.

But it wasn’t the spin from that end that was to prove the home side’s undoing as Cobb got the wicket of MacLeod thanks to a superb diving catch from Kleinveldt at fine leg.

That was a rare bright spot in the field for Northants, who were not having the best day, with Rob Keogh dropping a simple catch to let Mustard off the hook.

Mustard went on to complete his half-century before his luck ran out as Willey took the catch at long on off the bowling of Cobb.

Stone then saw a chance slip though his fingers as Paul Collingwood breathed a sigh of relief, seeing his shot find the boundary after the error from the fielder.

But, like Mustard before him, Collingwood was unable to make full use of the reprieve as he lofted a Willey delivery into the grateful hands of Stone, who held on to make amends.

At 147 for four, Durham had a useful platform to build on for the final four overs, but they had two fresh batsmen at the crease in Gordon Muchall and John Hastings.

Hastings had smashed a stunning 26-ball 80 in the T20 win against Northants at the same ground last July, but he wasn’t to repeat the heroics this time.

Instead, he was out for just three, losing out to Afridi, who claimed his first Northants wicket thanks to Kleinveldt’s catch.

And Afridi was to strike again in his final over, bowling Ryan Pringle for 13.

Willey took control of end of the innings as he ran out Arshad, who exited without adding to his team’s total.

And the all-rounder still had time to bowl Keaton Jennings as Durham ended their innings on 174 for eight.

Willey then tried to get Northants off to a flying start in reply, but he failed to notch a run as he was caught off the bowling of Rushworth in the opening over.

Rushworth got rid of Cobb in his second over and Arshad then struck to remove Alex Wakley for a duck.

Richard Levi had provided some resistance with a flashy 26, but he was soon following his three team-mates back to the dugout after being dismissed by Arshad.

Northants were 41 for four after the powerplay and it was to get worse as Adam Rossington was caught on the cover boundary by Stoneman off the bowling of Collingwood.

The rain eventually intervened at 47 for five and the covers stayed on as the players shook hands to confirm the Durham victory.

Durham: Stoneman, Mustard, MacLeod, Collingwood, Muchall, Pringle, Borthwick, Jennings, Hastings, Arshad, Rushworth.

Northants: Wakely, Levi, Cobb, Willey, Afridi, Kleinveldt, Rossington, Keogh, Crook, White, Stone.

Result: Durham Jets 174-8 (Mustard 51, MacLeod 60, Collingwood 27, Willey 2-28, Afriddi 2-28, Cobb 2-30) beat Northants Steelbacks 47-5 (Levi 26, Rushworth 2-13, Arshad 2-15) by 41 runs (D/L)