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T20 Blast: Keaton Jennings century sets up Lancashire win over Durham, but rain ruins other matches

T20 Blast: Keaton Jennings century sets up Lancashire win over Durham, but rain ruins other matches
Keaton Jennings followed Alviro Petersen, Lou Vincent, Stuart Law, Mal Loye and Liam Livingstone in making a T20 hundred for Lancashire

Keaton Jennings made 108, the highest T20 score for Lancashire, as the 2015 champions began the new T20 Blast season with a 27-run victory at Durham.

But the game at Chester-le-Street was the only fixture to survive the rain, with Joe Root’s return for Yorkshire one of four complete washouts.

Jennings’ maiden T20 century in 60 balls helped his side post 190-3 before they restricted Durham to 163-7.

Middlesex’s Max Holden also made his first T20 hundred before rain arrived.

Just as it did last season, the weather ruined the opening day of the competition, which made a belated start because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Root was set to play his first T20 game for Yorkshire since 2018, but the match at Headingley was called off shortly after 19:00 BST with large puddles having formed on the outfield.

“It’s disappointing we couldn’t get out there. I’ve been really looking forward to this,” said Root.

“They (England selectors) haven’t picked a squad for the Australia T20s as of yet, so I’m planning to play these games and we’ll see what happens from there.

“I’m going to prepare to play for Yorkshire and am really looking forward to that opportunity.”

Record partnership for Red Rose

Lancashire's Alex Davies runs out Graham Clark of Durham
Alex Davies made runs for Lancashire and completed the run-out of Durham’s Graham Clark

But it had been a dry afternoon in Durham, where Jennings made an impressive return to his former county.

He had only reached fifty three times previously in T20s – and not since 2018 – but surpassed his previous best of 88, for Durham against Northamptonshire, striking 10 fours and three sixes, one of them straight down the ground off England fast bowler Mark Wood.

He became the sixth T20 centurion for Lancashire and the first since Liam Livingstone at Derby in 2018.

Jennings and and Alex Davies, who made 65 from 50 balls, shared an opening stand of 170 in 17.3 overs – the highest partnership for any wicket in Lancashire’s T20 history.

Their total was the fourth-highest in T20s at Chester-le-Street and proved out of Durham’s reach despite Alex Lees’ 51 from 39 deliveries.

“Durham has been a special place in my career so to come back and score some runs here was fantastic,” said Jennings.

“Mark Wood is a really good mate of mine and it’s always weird competing against him because you really want him to do well. It’s really bittersweet, but it was a special day for me.”

Holden punishes holders

Holden’s 59-ball century with nine fours and three sixes was the seventh T20 hundred for Middlesex and just his second score over 50 in the county game’s shortest format.

He gave Middlesex a chance to upset 2019 champions Essex before heavy rain arrived at Chelmsford with the home side in just the second over of their chase.

“I had a bit of luck which you always need in T20 and managed to get a few out of the middle.

“This is a competition we’re targeting to do well in, so I was pleased to give the guys a great start,” Holden told BBC Radio London.

“I lost my way a bit last year, I went into my shell a bit but I want to be as positive as I can be and put the bowlers under pressure.”

Zak Crawley batting for Kent
England’s Zak Crawley hit three fours in the first over of Kent’s innings against Hampshire

Kent, who included England batsman Zak Crawley, were even more frustrated as their chase of 140 against Hampshire was halted with just five more balls needed to constitute a match via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method.

Matt Milnes produced his T20 best figures of 3-19 and Fred Klaassen 2-20 to hold the visitors to only 139-6 at Canterbury.

Kent raced to 52-0 from 4.1 overs with Crawley, fresh from his 267 for England against Pakistan, making 22 not out from only nine balls, but rain swept in to prevent any more play and the points were shared.

The rain arrived earlier in the day at Bristol and Cardiff and not a single ball was possible between Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire or Glamorgan and Worcestershire.

The Central Group fixture between Leicestershire and Derbyshire was also abandoned without the players reaching the middle.

Virtual spectators at Leicester
The only spectators inside the grounds were cutouts – including, at Leicester, a younger version of England pace bowler Stuart Broad (front row, centre)
Emerald Headingley
Rain in Leeds prevented England Test captain Joe Root playing his first T20 game for Yorkshire since 2018

Coming up

Friday fixtures (start time in brackets):

  • Hove: Sussex v Surrey (1400 BST)
  • Edgbaston: Birmingham Bears v Somerset (1830)

Saturday fixtures:

  • Worcester: Worcestershire v Northamptonshire (1300)
  • Bristol: Gloucestershire v Glamorgan (1400)
  • Chester LS: Durham v Nottinghamshire (1400)
  • Leicester: Leicestershire v Lancashire (1400)
  • Lord’s: Middlesex v Kent (1400)

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