Dale Benkenstein was relieved to see Durham squeeze home against Yorkshire to start their Friends Provident Trophy defence on a winning note.
The reigning champions looked to be coasting to victory when they had the Tykes 105-7 chasing 221 at a cold Riverside on Sunday.
However, Tim Bresnan (55) led a tail-end recovery for the visitors, sharing a 66-run stand with number 10 Amjal Shahzad that took the contest into a thrilling final over.
Graeme Onions managed to hold his nerve to take the final wicket and make sure Yorkshire fell just short, much to the delight of skipper Benkenstein.
"I think they (Yorkshire) had a long batting line-up and a few catches went down which kept them in the game," he said on Sky Sports.
"Bressie (Tim Bresnan) played a great knock at the end which shows just how good an all-rounder he is.
"We were hoping to get off the field earlier, they were sub-zero temperatures at the end, but we are just happy to get over that first hurdle.
"The guys are looking good, they've had a good pre-season in South Africa and it's nice to see the bowlers all fit and firing.
"They are all looking forward to the (new) season. We have our first four-day game against Surrey this week and that was a good run-out for that."
Benkenstein believes Durham will have to continue to lift their game throughout the competition as other teams look to get the better of the cup holders.
The county also have high hopes of success in Division One in the County Championship, after finishing second last year, and the Pro40 League.
"I think the club has taken some big steps forwards over the past few years," he added.
"Last year was a big turning point for us and it's nice to be known as a team that people want to beat now.
"We're under no illusions that we're invincible, we know that we have to lift our game."