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Buttler gives Lancashire immediate lift

Lancashire 192 for 6 (Buttler 59, Weighell 3-28) beat Durham 140 for 7 (Collingwood 48, Clark 3-26) by 52 runs
Scorecard

Jos Buttler led the way with 59 off 39 balls as Lancashire began their NatWest T20 Blast programme with a 52-run win against Durham at Chester-le-Street.

Put in by Durham's new T20 captain, Paul Coughlin, Lancashire cleared the rope seven times in their 192 for 6, to which Durham replied with 140 for 7.

Buttler hit two of the sixes and there was a brace for opener Karl Brown as he and Arron Lilley smashed 65 off four overs after only four runs came off the first two.

In the second over Liam Livingstone sliced a drive off Weighell for Ryan Pringle to hold a low catch at backward point.

But Lancashire's experiment of sending in off-spinner Lilley at No 3 paid off as he took three boundaries off Chris Rushworth's second over, including two lofted over the off-side field.

Brown repeated the dose off Weighell and when Coughlin came on Brown picked up his second ball over mid-wicket for six.

That was followed by two leg-side wides and a waist-high full toss, which was hit for four and signalled no-ball. Lilley cross-batted a six over long-on and the over cost 22.

Durham needed a slice of luck to break the stand as Usman Arshad's first ball was driven firmly back by Lilley and deflected into the stumps by the bowler, running out Brown for 35.

Lilley went for a straight six off the next ball and was caught just inside the rope by Adam Hickey.

When Coughlin returned Buttler drove his second ball for a straight six as he dominated a stand of 92 in ten overs with Dane Vilas.

The England one-day wicketkeeper also proved adept at working the ball into space for twos, while a precise cut bisected deep gully and backward point. His only improvisation came when he reverse paddled a full toss over gully for his fourth four to reach 50 off 31 balls.

Having hit Ryan Pringle's second ball over extra cover for a big six, Buttler was then tied down by the off-spinner before skying a return catch. Weighell also picked up two late wickets to finish with three for 28. as Lancashire stalled slightly with 29 off four overs before Ryan McLaren took 14 off the last, bowled by Arshad.

Durham sent in left-hander Hickey to open with Graham Clark, who raised hopes by taking 14 off the second over, bowled by Saqib Mahmood, including a six over backward point.

But wickets fell in each of the next three overs. Hickey fell lbw to Tom Bailey, Michael Richardson skied a catch to third man and Clark was run out for 23 attempting a risky single.

When Jack Burnham was bowled by Jordan Clark to make it 51 for four it was left to Paul Collingwood to keep Durham afloat. But he lacked support and Lancashire's use of three spinners helped them to stay in control.

Collingwood holed out at deep mid-wicket for 48 off Jordan Clark, who finished with three for 26.