A brilliant all-round performance by Preston Mommsen was not enough to earn Scotland victory in their Clydesdale Bank 40 opener at Chester-le-Street.
The visitors lost by five wickets as Gordon Muchall's unbeaten 95 carried Durham home with 10 balls to spare.
Mommsen came in at seven and smashed an impressive 73 not out off 54 balls as Scotland reached 215 for seven.
The South Africa-born 23-year-old also had figures of two for 20 in five overs with his off-spin.
Mommsen helped Scotland stage a tremendous recovery as they were reeling on 16 for three, with Graham Onions taking wickets in each of his first three overs.
The score limped on to 93 for six before Mommsen came to the crease.
And when Onions came back for two overs at the end of the innings his last two balls were both hit for six by Mommsen.
All-rounder Majid Haq also performed well for Scotland, bowling his off-spin tightly and contributing 30 to a seventh-wicket stand of 77 in 13 overs with Mommsen.
When Haq holed out at deep square leg, well caught by Durham's Scot, Kyle Coetzer, Gordon Goudie helped to add 39 off the last two overs.
Mommsen kept up his good work with some tidy bowling, while Josh Davey, on loan from Middlesex, took two for 18 in six overs, but strangely neither player completed their allocation.
Scotland skipper Gordon Drummond turned instead to his quicker bowlers when Durham needed 47 off six overs and Muchall plundered a series of boundaries.
And Muchall's innings, which built on a quickfire 50 from Ben Stokes, saw Durham to 219 for the loss of five wickets.