Northamptonshire Steelbacks recorded their first win of their Vitality Blast campaign in resounding fashion, hammering Durham by nine wickets in their clash at Emirates Riverside.

Adam Rossington and Ricardo Vasconcelos recorded the Steelbacks’ highest ever opening stand to chase down Durham’s total of 158 with ease. Vasconcelos notched his highest T20 score of 78 to drive his side over the line, ending their winless run in the competition at the seventh time of asking.

Fine bowling from Mohammad Nabi and Graeme White limited the home side to 157 for five, with the two spinners claiming two wickets apiece as Sean Dickson was the only Durham batsman to look comfortable on the wicket.

The start of the contest summed up Durham’s evening as David Bedingham fell to the second delivery, feathering an edge behind off the bowling of Nabi. Ben Stokes tried to inject pace into the innings, but his attempt to strike Nabi out of the ground resulted in a leading edge that was well taken by a diving Graeme White for 11.

Matters got worse for the hosts when White removed Clark as some tidy glovework from Rossington stumped him off a wide. Ben Raine followed in the next over, presenting debutant Freddie Heldreich with his maiden Blast wicket as the left-arm wrist-spinner rattled the stumps, leaving the hosts 57 for four. Cameron Bancroft and Dickson put on a stand of fifty for the second game in a row to propel their team towards the 150-run mark.

White halted the momentum when he notched his second wicket via another sharp Rossington stumping as he dismissed the Durham captain for 27. Dickson provided the late burst, reaching his first fifty for Durham from 35 deliveries, he and Brydon Carse lifted the home side to a total of 157 for five.

Rossington got the Steelbacks off to a rapid start in response, striking 14 from Stokes’ first over of the contest. Vasconcelos provided ample support, picking the gaps in the field to find the boundary with the classical strokeplay Northamptonshire fans have come to expect from the left-hander. The openers propelled their side well above the required rate in the powerplay, posting 66 from the opening six overs.

Rossington brought up a fine half-century from 28 balls, displaying an impressive range of shots around the crease. The century stand for the opening wicket soon followed in style as Rossington produced a brilliant strike over cover for six.

Vasconcelos joined his skipper to reach a fifty for the first time in T20 cricket, pulling Stokes to the fence. In the process, the Steelbacks duo notched the club’s highest partnership for the opening wicket, the second highest for any wicket. Liam Trevaskis removed Rossington for 59, but it did not affect the visitors as they marched towards their first win of the campaign with 13 balls to spare.