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Veterans lead the way

Paul Collingwood, Marcus North and Scott Styris all showed there is life in the old dog yet with stunning performances on the opening night of the NatWest T20 Blast.

Collingwood produced a superb all-round performance in Durham Jets’ 29-run victory over Worcestershire Rapids while North’s amazing 47-ball 90 proved in vain as Derbyshire Falcons lost by 27 runs to Leicestershire Foxes, who were boosted by Styris’ splendid 63 off 31 deliveries.

Former England captain Collingwood arrived at the crease with the Jets, fresh from losing the toss, in trouble on 33 for three at the Emirates Durham ICG.

However, the 37-year-old shared a 113-run fourth-wicket partnership alongside debutant Calum MacLeod in 12 overs to lift their side. 

Collingwood blasted five fours and a trio of maximums in 38-ball 62 and, despite him departing in the 18th over to Saeed Ajmal, the Jets were able to post a commanding 173 for four courtesy of Scotland international MacLeod’s destructive 80 off 56 deliveries.

Collingwood was not finished there though, hampering the Rapids’ response with his medium pace mixed with a number of variations.

He returned figures of 3-29 from four overs to help the Jets dismiss their opponents for 144 in 19 overs.

At Grace Road, two overseas players led the way in Australian North and New Zealander Styris.

Having won the toss, the Falcons dismissed Ireland international Niall O’Brien for a golden duck and did well to contain Josh Cobb and Ned Eckersley after the pair threatened to take the game away from the visitors early in their innings. 

However, the 38-year-old Styris blazed seven fours and three sixes to lift the Foxes to a mammoth 197 for four.

Stephen Moore and Wes Durston, with 24 and 28 respectively, tried their best to keep up with the run-rate, but the Falcons looked dead and buried when Nathan Buck accounted for both in figures of 3-26.

But 34-year-old North had other ideas, bludgeoning six fours and the same amount of maximums in a remarkable 47-ball knock that took Derbyshire close.

The left-hander’s dismissal to Anthony Ireland with the penultimate ball of the 18th over signalled the end of the visitors’ chase, though, with Derbyshire limited to 170 for seven at the end of their 20 overs. 

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