Durham 163 for 5 (Stoneman 89*, Sayer 2-16) beat Leicestershire 125 (Hasting 3-10, Arshad 3-18) by 38 runs
Durham's limited-overs captain Mark Stoneman made the county's second highest Twenty20 score of 89 not out to lead his side to a 38-run NatWest T20 Blast win over Leicestershire.
Defeat was a blow to Leicestershire's hopes of reaching the last eight as they prepare to lose the O'Brien brothers, Niall and Kevin, to Ireland's ICC World T20 qualification bid. They were also without skipper Mark Cosgrove, as his wife was about to give birth, and acting captain Grant Elliott left himself with too much to do.
Elliott went in at 35 for 3 in the seventh over in reply to 163 for 5 and when Ben Raine was run out three overs later 106 were needed off the last ten. After securing a tie against Yorkshire by conceding only five in the last over, it was an unhappy return to his home county for Raine. He took none for 56 and spent 20 balls over 19 runs when sent in at No. 4.
When Elliott fell lbw trying to hit Scott Borthwick to leg in the 11th over the remaining batsmen faced a hopeless cause and they were all out for 125 with one ball unused.
Stoneman helped Durham recover from 98 for 5 in the 14th over. Only Phil Mustard, with 91 at home to Yorkshire two years ago, has scored more in a T20 innings for Durham. The victory ended a run of three defeats for Durham as they prepare to visit Worcestershire on Sunday.
Stoneman survived difficult chances off skied leg-side shots on 27 and 73 and cashed in with two straight sixes in the last three overs off Raine. He also hit seven fours in scoring his runs off 60 balls.
Usman Arshad contributed 28 off 19 balls to the unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 65 to make sure Durham reached the sort of total they threatened when racing to 45 after four overs after being put in on a glorious evening.
Durham were stifled by the offspin of Rob Sayer, a 20-year-old whose only previous first-team appearance was in a one-day match against New Zealand last month. He wasn't afraid to pitch the ball up and took both wickets through Gordon Muchall and Ryan Pringle clipping to wide mid-on.
Arshad continued his excellent night with two wickets in two balls in the third over of the reply. Andrea Agathangelou was bowled attempting to scoop a straight ball to fine leg then Kevin O'Brien drove at the next ball and got a thick inside edge to midwicket. Tom Wells hit three sixes in his 27, but it was all over when he was brilliantly caught at long-on by Pringle to give Arshad a third wicket.