Hastings directs Durham win
John Hastings smashed Durham's fastest half-century as he atoned for a toothless individual bowling display to help his side to a five-wicket NatWest T20 Blast win over Northamptonshire at Chester-le-Street.
The Australian took none for 50 but then, with his side apparently sliding to a massive defeat, joined Scotsman Calum MacLeod in an unbroken stand of 126 in just over eight overs.
Durham were 73 for five in the 11th over in reply to 195 for three when Hastings began the astonishing onslaught which took him to 50 off 19 balls. The previous best for Durham was 22 balls by New Zealander Ross Taylor at Edgbaston in 2010.
Hastings, who was dropped on 35 and 74, had hit eight sixes and reached 80 off 26 balls by the time MacLeod (64) found the cover boundary with the first ball of the final over to end the game.
The carnage began in the 12th over, with 20 coming off Matt Spriegel's off breaks and by the 17th Kyle Coetzer felt obliged to try his own medium pace.
Off his first ball Hastings was missed by Graeme White at long-on and the Australian then cashed in successive sixes over mid-wicket three balls later.
In a game with nothing at stake the T20 programme had looked like fizzling out in disappointing fashion for the home fans on a glorious night.
The visitors chose to bat and after an opening stand of 83 between Richard Levi and David Willey, the innings was crowned by Adam Rossington and Steven Crook taking 58 off the last four overs.
Rossington drove the final ball over long-on for six off Hastings to reach 52 off 27 balls.
The openers had begun relatively quietly, but halfway through the fourth over Willey drove Hastings for a high, straight six to spark a run of 20 runs in five balls.
That burst finished with a six pulled deep into the members' enclosure by Levi off Graham Onions but the runs continued to flow as the total reached 49 off five overs.
They were parted in the ninth over when Willey drove Scott Borthwick to long-on after making 43 off 29 balls, with six fours and two sixes.
Levi had three sixes in his 41 before clipping Onions straight into the hands of deep square leg and the only other man to fall was Coetzer, who made 15 against his former club before driving Borthwick to long-off.
Durham's reply began disastrously as Phil Mustard was adjudged to have been caught behind off Olly Stone for a duck.
It became six for two when Borthwick (six) miscued a pull off Willey to mid-on.
Durham had only 24 after five overs but the introduction of Maurice Chambers handed them 17 runs in the sixth. MacLeod pulled him for six before a ball so wide that it missed the strip flew to the boundary and was followed by another leg-side ball which produced four leg byes.
Mark Stoneman made 13 before skying Crook to deep mid-wicket and the same bowler held a one-handed return catch to see off Gordon Muchall (four).
But at that point Hastings marched in and swiftly changed the game.