Lancashire supporters leaving Old Trafford will all have been scratching their heads at quite how their side managed to lose to Durham, but lose they did.
After a strong bowling display which restricted Durham to what appeared a below-par total of 154-7, they seemed to be well on top.
And at the halfway stage of their chase, when just 63 from 60 balls was required, it looked to be in the bag for the Lightning. It proved not to be so, as Durham clawed it back at the death with the ball to move to within a point of North Group leaders Worcestershire.
Alex Davies appeared to have broken the back of that chase, with his fifth half-century of the campaign – a feat that equals the T20 record for Lancashire in a single season.
It came from just 32 balls and, having lost opening partner Karl Brown inside the first over, his his fifty stand with Arron Lilley gave Lancashire control.
Lilley was run out for 28 and Davies fell one ball after reaching his milestone. That left Lancashire 92-3 at the halfway stage, with just that equation of 63 from 60 balls required.
A period of rebuilding was expected, but Lancashire appeared to stall, ticking along at just below the required rate – never getting ahead of it.
Steven Croft’s dismissal for 16 sent a degree of nervousness through the spectators but at 128-4, with 27 from 24 balls needed, it was still comfortable.
Dane Vilas also went in the next over and, with Lancashire having a light batting unit to begin with, the bowling all-rounders were now in. 19 runs were required from the last two overs.
Jordan Clark smashed the second ball of that over for six to ease the tension. His wicket with the next ball raised it again and the Lightning came to need six from the last six balls.
From there they capitulated to the brilliant Liam Trevaskis. The 19-year-old spinner was entrusted with the final over and took three wickets within it. He conceded just the one run as Durham won by four runs.
Trevaskis finished with figures 4-16 from his four overs, having not taken a wicket in his previous seven T20 matches.
Earlier, Zahir Khan was the story. The Afghanistan international has signed for Lancashire until the end of the season and he impressed with the ball, taking 2-19. He bowled his Chinaman deliveries at great pace and bamboozled the Durham batsmen.
Khan was backed up well by Danny Lamb, who took identical figures and Lancashire will have been pleased with their efforts with the ball.
Only Graham Clark at the top of the order with 29 from 17 balls – before being caught by brother Jordan – and Will Smith’s 37* from 32 balls stood out in the Durham batting ranks.
It was a total labelled ’20 below par’ by now-Lancashire and former Durham seamer Graham Onions, but the Jets defended it superbly.
Defeat leaves Lancashire scrambling in their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals, having lost back-to-back home games this week and not won any of their last four matches.
They face a pivotal Roses clash at Headingley on Thursday before returning to Old Trafford to face Birmingham Bears – two matches which will go a long way to deciding their T20 fate for this season.