Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: Early Setbacks Fail to Halt Durham's Twenty20 Progress

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: Early Setbacks Fail to Halt Durham's Twenty20 Progress

Article excerpt

DURHAM Dynamos recovered from losing both openers for ducks to beat Derbyshire Phantoms by seven wickets and move two points clear at the top of the Twenty20 Cup North Division last night - sealing their place in the quarter-finals.

An unbroken stand of 93 between skipper Dale Benkenstein and Albie Morkel steered their side to a sixth victory after they had been wobbling at 31-3 chasing a revised target of 121 following an 85-minute stoppage for low sun.

But the fourth-wicket pair batted with calm authority to cross the finishing line with 16 balls to spare and rubber stamp Durham's place in the next round.

Morkel sealed victory by clouting Nyan Doshi over the deep mid-wicket boundary to end with 54 from 34 balls while Benkenstein's 47 came from 41 balls.

Derbyshire accelerated after a slow start to reach 118-6 after the game was reduced to 18 overs with skipper Rikki Clarke and Dan Birch providing some much-needed momentum in the last seven overs.

The Dynamos had restricted the Phantoms to 53 from 11 overs with Shaun Pollock having Dominic Telo caught behind for 16 and Gareth Breese trapping Greg Smith lbw for 13 four balls after the restart. But Clarke broke free by taking 17 from teenage leg-spinner Scott Borthwick's only over which included a big six over wide long on and two powerfully driven fours.

Although Breese bowled the dangerman Wavell Hinds in the next over, Birch greeted Ben Harmison by driving his first three balls for four in an over which cost 15. Clarke pulled Steve Harmison for another six before he sliced his brother to deep cover after hitting 36 from 27 balls and both Birch and Jamie Pipe fell swinging at Liam Plunkett in the last over.

Durham's chase began badly when former Derbyshire batsman Michael Di Venuto chipped the third ball to mid off and Phil Mustard cut to point where Smith held a juggling catch. …

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