Yorkshire were dismissed for 95 – their second-lowest total in T20 cricket – in reply to the visitors’ 123-9.
It prompted some frank words from first-team coach Gillespie, with Yorkshire missing a gilt-edged chance to climb up to third in the North Group – one point behind leaders Worcestershire, whom they meet at New Road tomorrow.
“That was unacceptable,” said Gillespie, with Yorkshire’s score only just eclipsing their lowest T20 effort of 90-9 against the same opponents at Chester-le-Street in 2009.
“We were like rabbits in front of headlights and didn’t adapt to the situation well enough.
“We bowled and fielded exceptionally well but to bat the way we did was incredibly disappointing.
“Durham bowled well, full credit to them, but to be 95 all-out is simply not good enough.”
Yorkshire appeared to be coasting after restricting their opponents to a paltry total.
The hosts were 47-1 going into the final ball of the six-over powerplay only to lose 9-48 in 69 deliveries.
“There were some cheap dismissals, with players chipping the ball to fielders, and some run-outs through ball-watching,” added Gillespie. “These things should not happen to a professional cricket team and we have to learn from these displays.
“That’s the second poor batting display now in the space of a week, after we lost to Notts at Trent Bridge, and we need to be better. I let the boys know in no uncertain terms what I thought about this performance and we need to bounce back when we get down to Worcester.”
Defeat was particularly disheartening given the impressive way Yorkshire performed with the ball after Durham chose to bat.
In front of a 5,071 crowd on a cloudy night, Ryan Sidebottom and Tim Bresnan set the tone with good opening spells, Sidebottom striking with the fifth ball of the match when he had Mark Stoneman caught at point.
When Rich Pyrah had Paul Collingwood caught at deep mid-off and Bresnan removed Michael Richardson with the aid of a slip catch, Durham were 33-3 at the end of the powerplay.
Spinners Adil Rashid and Azeem Rafiq turned the screw, making the most of a slow and dry pitch.
Rafiq got rid of Gordon Muchall, who clipped to mid-wicket, and Scott Borthwick, who lobbed to mid-on, with successive balls, later having Ryan Pringle caught at long-on to leave Durham 73-6.
Rashid added the key scalp of Phil Mustard, stumped, who top-scored with 40 from 43 balls with four fours, and then trapped Usman Arshad lbw and had John Hastings caught at cover.
Between them, Rashid and Rafiq captured 6-34 – an exceptional effort
How ironic, therefore, that Durham would have been 94 all-out – and Yorkshire would theoretically have prevailed by one run – had Rashid held an extremely difficult return chance offered by last man Chris Rushworth.
That would have seen Durham record the lowest score by anyone against Yorkshire in T20, falling just shy of the 98 they themselves managed at Chester-le-Street in 2006. As it was, Rushworth’s 10th-wicket stand of 29 with Gareth Breese, who hit an unbeaten 30 from 19 balls with four fours and a six, was crucial in the context of the match.
No blame should be attached to Rashid, however, who made a good effort to clutch a hard-hit chance diving to his right. Yorkshire’s innings began badly when Andrew Gale slapped the first ball of the second over, bowled by Hastings, straight to deep mid-wicket.
Alex Lees was bowled by Hastings off the final delivery of the powerplay, at which point Yorkshire lost the plot. Borthwick took two wickets in his first over when Aaron Finch went lbw trying to sweep and Adam Lyth was brilliantly caught by the spinner off his own bowling.
Yorkshire slipped to 58-5 in the 10th when Borthwick ran-out Ollie Robinson after a mix-up over a single. Jonny Bairstow chipped to mid-wicket, Bresnan was run-out after Rashid tried a single into the off-side, and Rashid himself perished when he thumped Breese’s first ball straight to long-on.
After Pyrah fell lbw, Sidebottom was run-out after a mix-up with Rafiq in an appropriate finish to a wretched team innings.
The good news for Yorkshire is they are still fourth in the table, the final qualifying position, and only three points off the top.
The bad news is there is no consistency to their play, particularly in the batting department.
Yorkshire should still reach the quarter-finals and have five games left to secure their berth.
But they will not get much further unless they find a way of elevating their batting standards to those of their bowling and, in particular, their fielding.
Scoreboard: Page 20.