Durham 125 for 3 (Clark 55, Stokes 43) beat Worcestershire 121 (Head 40, Stokes 4-16) by seven wickets
Ben Stokes put on a clinic with bat and ball to guide Durham Jets to a dominant seven-wicket victory over Worcestershire Rapids in their Vitality Blast clash at Emirates Riverside.
The England all-rounder was imperious with the ball, claiming figures of 4 for 16 from his four overs. He then opened the innings to blast a score of 43 off 24 deliveries, and with Graham Clark's knock of 55, the home side were able to canter to a comfortable win.
Durham have won their last three matches on the bounce against tough opposition and are well in contention to reach the knockout phase of the competition, while the Rapids have now dropped their second game in a row, needing a response to stop their slide after their strong start.
Clar said: ""We've played some good teams. We've beaten the two finalists from last year and to beat top of the group tonight it's standing us in good stead. Confidence is sky high at the moment and hopefully we can keep winning in this competition."
The Jets on the toss and elected to bowl boosted by the return of Stokes, although Paul Collingwood and Chris Rushworth missed out. Worcestershire had Moeen Ali back in their ranks and hit the second ball of the innings to the boundary over point, but James Weighell responded to dismiss him in the next ball. Martin Guptill struggled to get the ball off the square and was to fall victim to a Stokes' delivery that kept low for seven.
Travis Head's form at the crease allowed his side to post 40 from their opening six overs. Rimmington turned the momentum in favour of Durham by removing Daryl Mitchell. Head continued his knock, although his strike rate did not get away from the home side. The Australian fell for 40 as he was undone by a straight delivery from Imran Tahir, sparking a collapse in the Rapids' innings.
Stokes returned to the attack to have both Ross Whiteley and Ben Cox caught on the boundary, while Tahir notched his second strike of the innings as Ed Barnard knicked off. Luke Wood continued the procession of wickets, drilling straight to Liam Trevaskis in the deep. Stokes ensured that the Rapids were held in check as he claimed his fourth scalp by bowling Dillon Pennington, while a fine piece of fielding ended the innings for 121 as Rimmington ran out Patrick Brown with a flick out of the back of his hand.
Graham Clark and Stokes got their side off to a flying start in their chase. Both openers were able to find the boundary with regularity, putting the home side comfortably ahead of the required rate. The duo reached their fifty partnership at the end of the fifth over, compounding their advantage at the crease.
Stokes dispatched Ali over long on for a huge six to reach 43, but his England team-mate had a semblance of revenge as Guptill took a catch on the fence from the following delivery, ending the opening partnership at 77. Clark continued to put the Rapids to the sword after the loss of Stokes, reaching his fifty off 35 balls, including seven boundaries and a six. The opener fell before the Jets could close out the victory as Trevaskis hit the winning runs.