Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Collingwood's best outdone by Clarke retort

Worcestershire 204 for 2 (Clarke 124*) beat Durham 201 for 2 (Collingwood 108*, Clark 52) by eight wickets

Veteran Paul Collingwood scored his maiden T20 century but was upstaged by a player nearly half his age in Joe Clarke as Worcestershire Rapids overpowered Durham Jets by eight wickets at New Road.

Collingwood, 41, reached three figures in the final over of the Jets innings off 57 balls with four sixes and nine fours. It surpassed his previous best T20 score of 79 for England against the West Indies at the Oval a decade ago in June 2007.

Collingwood also became the first Durham player to score a century in the short format of the game as they amassed 201-2 in their 20 overs after being put into bat.

But England Lions batsman Clarke gave another demonstration of his considerable potential as the Rapids chased down their target with 11 balls to spare.

The 21-year-old reached his first T20 ton off only 45 balls with six sixes and 10 fours and sparked a standing ovation as he helped to lift the gloom of a difficult start to the campaign. He finished unbeaten on 124 from 53 balls with eight sixes and 12 fours.

Collingwood made the home side pay dearly for dropping him on four with the normally reliable Brett D'Oliveira spilling the chance at point off former Durham all-rounder John Hastings.

Collingwood ended with 108 not out and his second and third wicket partnerships with Graham Clark - 106 in 10 overs - and skipper Paul Coughlin - an unbroken 92 in eight overs - were both records in matches against Worcestershire.

It was another chastening experience for the Rapids attack despite the tonic of Hastings dismissing Cameron Steel (2) - caught at short fine leg - from his first delivery.

The Rapids handed a T20 debut to paceman Josh Tongue who had taken four wickets on his first appearance for England Under-19s in the opening 'Test' v India Under-19s at Chesterfield.

He bowled a tidy opening over but then Clark and Collingwood, profiting from his escape, cut loose to such an extent that the powerplay reaslised 63 runs.

Clark completed his half century off just 26 balls with five sixes and then Collingwood lofted young paceman Pat Brown over long on to bring up the 100 in the 11th over.

Clarke (52) holed out to long off attempting another big hit against D'Oliveira who was the only bowler to stem the tide of boundaries.

He returned the excellent figures of 1-16 from his four overs but Collingwood found another able ally in Coughlin as 61 came from the final five overs. The Rapids needed a quickfire start - and it was provided by Joe Clarke and Hastings. Clarke collected three fours and a six in an over from Coughlin costing 20 as the fifty came up in the fifth over.

The Rapids reached 65-0 at the end of the powerplay but Collingwood came into the attack and his first ball accounted for Hastings (24) who perished at deep mid wicket.

Clarke has been a revelation in the opening role after Tom Kohler-Cadmore's departure to Yorkshire left a vancancy at the top of the order. He completed his third half century in the last five T20 innings with his third six - off spinner Ryan Pringle.

Ben Cox was equally effective in helping Clarke plunder 97 off only eight overs for the second wicket before he was caught at long-off off ther bowling of Barry McCarthy for 43

Clarke went to his 100 with six over long on off James Weighell and then sealed victory in double quick time

Worcs 2nd innings Partnerships

1st65JW HastingsJM Clarke
2nd97OB CoxJM Clarke
3rd42RA WhiteleyJM Clarke