No joy for the Steelbacks as the rain has its way

Muhammad Azharullah is congratulated after catching Paul Collingwood for a golden duck
Muhammad Azharullah is congratulated after catching Paul Collingwood for a golden duck
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The weather was the only winner from the Natwest t20 Blast clash between Northamptonshire Steelbacks and Durham Jets at the County Ground.

A torrential downpour meant that the scheduled 6.30pm start time was put back to 7.45pm, with the contest being reduced to 15 overs each, but only 10 overs were bowled before a second shower finished things off.

Natwest T20 Blast Northants Steelbacks v Durham Jets. County Ground, Wantage Road, Northampton. NNL-140627-210203005

Natwest T20 Blast Northants Steelbacks v Durham Jets. County Ground, Wantage Road, Northampton. NNL-140627-210203005

It was tough luck on the hosts who, for the first time in a while, had been on top as they produced a spirited effort in the field but when your luck is out, more of the same seems to be your lot on life.

As for what play was possible, having won the toss and chosen to bat first, the visitors stuttered through the first half of their innings.

In a reduced overs game, even more so than in a 20-over thrash, a strong start is vital and Durham served up the exact opposite.

David Willey got things started when he produced an excellent delivery to remove Phil Mustard’s off stump at the start of the third over and this was quickly followed by two more.

Natwest T20 Blast Northants Steelbacks v Durham Jets. County Ground, Wantage Road, Northampton. NNL-140627-210140005

Natwest T20 Blast Northants Steelbacks v Durham Jets. County Ground, Wantage Road, Northampton. NNL-140627-210140005

Calum MacLeod, after a couple of crisply struck boundaries, slapped Olly Stone to cover and from the next ball Paul Collingwood uppercut in the direction of third man.

All of this meant the powerplay concluded with the score at a sickly looking 34-3 and it got even worse a few minutes later when Ben Stokes pulled a Steven Crook half tracker to deep midwicket.

All the while Mark Stoneman was holding up the other end and in conjunction with Gordon Muchall, the pair had engineered a recovery of sorts - 69-4 to be exact - when the rain made a comeback with two-thirds of the allocation used up.