It was the kind of knock that sent you scrambling for the record books. An imperious innings packed with crisp, crunching strikes as Alex Davies delivered a masterclass and set up what was a thumping victory for Lancashire at Old Trafford.
The 23-year-old keeper-batsman – though not keeping in this match – made a career-best 147 from 137 balls. It was the second-highest List A score for Lancashire of all time and the highest at Old Trafford.
Andy Crook’s record of 162* in 2005 came against Buckinghamshire, so Davies now holds the club record against first-class counties. And it was a fantastic innings, punctuated by an array of sweetly-timed strikes all around the wicket. It featured 16 4s and a single 6 as the opened guided his side to a total of 314.
He also shared in Lancashire’s biggest ever opening stand in List A cricket against Durham, as he and Keaton Jennings put on 175 for the first wicket.
Jennings, looking for a fourth successive century in all formats after his 136 against Notts on Thursday, fell for a similarly classy 73 as he attempted a scoop and was bowled by Nathan Rimmington.
From their position of 161-0 at the halfway stage, Lancashire might have been a touch disappointed to only set a target of 315.
Durham certainly pegged it back well. After a half-century stand between Davies and Karl Brown for the second wicket, Durham took four scalps in 21 balls for the cost of just 12 runs.
Brown was dismissed by James Weighell before the bowler displayed some neat football skills to run out Liam Livingstone for two as he attempted a suicidal single. Dane Vilas chipped a caught and bowled back to Ryan Pringle before Steven Croft edged Weighell behind.
That left Lancashire 238-5, but Jordan Clark produced a valuable 48* from 34 balls to guide his side beyond 300.
Davies ultimately fell attempting to ramp Rimmington over third man. But his mammoth knock had delivered a large total for Durham to chase – a pressure they buckled under against Yorkshire in their last match.
And it quickly became apparent that would be the case again. Even the vastly experienced Paul Collingwood, opening once again, couldn’t deliver.
He advanced down the track, had a swing and miss and was terribly slow remembering he had to get back. Too slow, as keeper Vilas hit the stumps to dismiss him for five.
The wickets tumbled with great regularity. Ryan Pringle and Michael Richardson departed in successive overs and Graham Clark was the fourth man to fall with the score on just 32 after 10 overs.
They ticked past 50 from 14.2 overs – Lancashire were 100-0 at the same stage. The situation wouldn’t improve for the North East side as Livingstone’s off-spin accounted for Will Smith and Tom Latham, both lbw, to leave Durham 73-6.
Stuart Poynter and Matthew Potts both fell to Matt Parkinson as the procession continued. James Weighell offered a resistant 23 but was superbly caught at cover by Livingstone to give Stephen Parry his first wicket of the season.
Rimmington was the last man to fall as Durham were dismissed for 122, giving Lancashire a winning margin of 192 runs. That’s their third-biggest List A margin of all time and the biggest since 1992.
It was the second-successive drubbing for Durham who never looked like competing in any department throughout this match. Their batting will have to improve significantly if they harbour any hopes of making the knockout stage.
Lancashire though pick up their first win after falling narrowly short against Notts and will move on to Northants on Wednesday full of confidence.