Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

IT'S CRUNCH TIME; Durham in Battle to Make Last Eight

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

IT'S CRUNCH TIME; Durham in Battle to Make Last Eight

Article excerpt

TWENTY20 CRICKET

DURHAM are heading for a showdown with Leicestershire at Grace Road tomorrow for the remaining place in the Twenty20 quarter finals.

Leicestershire Foxes snatched a dramatic 11-run victory over Yorkshire Carnegie at Grace Road to set up the dog eat dog battle with Durham, whose eagerly awaited clash with group leaders Lancashire was rained off last night.

Yorkshire needed to beat Leicester to retain their own hopes and, chasing a target of 165, looked virtually home and dry after an opening stand of 104 in 12 overs between Andrew Gale and Jacques Rudolph. But then, in gathering gloom, they lost their way and ended on 153-6 as Andrew Harris and Wayne White each claimed two wickets in the last four overs.

The Tykes must be wondering how on earth they missed out after some brilliant batting from Gale and Rudolph had left them firmly in the driving seat..

Gale made a bright 43 while Rudolph was in blistering form hitting 61 off just 39 balls with one six and 10 other boundaries.

Gale hit three successive fours off Iain O'Brien's first over and Rudolph reached his 50 off just 29 balls before finally falling to a catch at long-off to give O'Brien his first wicket.

But from that point on Yorkshire's run rate slowed as the Foxes tightened their line and lengths with both Michael Vaughan and Gerard Brophy struggling for momentum in the middle of the innings.

Yorkshire needed 25 off the last two overs but excellent bowling from Harris and White gave the Foxes a win that had looked highly unlikely.

Batting first the Foxes posted 164 for six with Jacques Du Toit top-scoring with an excellent 39 with other good contributions coming from James Allenby and Paul Nixon.

Allenby hit 32 off 26 balls and Nixon divided impetus towards the end of the innings with a 32 off 27 balls.

The Foxes scored 42 off the last five overs and although their total looked under par they fought back well to snatch the surprise win.

Leicestershire v Yorkshire At: Grace Road Leicestershire M A G Boyce c Rafiq b Kruis ............. …

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