Leicestershire v Durham, Clydesdale Bank 40, Grace Road

All-round Blackwell shows he's a matchwinner

May 2, 2011

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Durham 285 for 9 beat Leicestershire 216 by 69 runs

Ian Blackwell drilled seven fours and five sixes in his 64-ball 98, Leicestershire v Durham, CB40, Grace Road, May 2, 2011
Ian Blackwell enjoyed a wonderful match as Durham won comfortably © Getty Images

Ian Blackwell smashed 98 off 64 balls and then took three wickets to lead Durham to a 69-run victory over Leicestershire in the Clydesdale Bank 40 Group B clash at Grace Road.

Put into bat, Durham totalled 285 for 9, helped by Blackwell's boundary-laden innings plus six additional runs awarded because of the Foxes' failure to complete their overs in the allotted time. Blackwell then claimed three of the first four Leicestershire wickets to fall, including that of Josh Cobb, who hit a limited-overs best score of 87.

Cobb's effort, however, was not enough to keep the Foxes in contention and they were dismissed for 216 with 16 balls still remaining to give the Dynamos their second win of the season.

Durham did not make the best of starts to their innings, with Kyle Coetzer caught at cover off Alex Wyatt in the third over. But a half-century off 39 balls from 19-year-old Ben Stokes launched the recovery, with Gordon Muchall also chipping in with a useful 32. But the innings only really took off when Blackwell arrived at the wicket. He made his intentions clear with two early sixes off Cobb and Wayne White and, after surviving a difficult chance to wicketkeeper Paul Dixey, reached 50 off 41 balls.

The scoring rate then rocketed when the Dynamos took the batting powerplay. Blackwell and Gareth Breese hammered 54 off the four overs, with both batsmen piercing the field with a succession of boundaries, including further sixes. When Breese eventually skied a catch to long-on, the sixth-wicket pair had put on a record stand of 144 in 17 overs. Breese's share was 44, with three fours and a six.

Blackwell looked set for a century but, two runs short of it, popped up a return catch off a slower ball from Wyatt, having hit five sixes and seven fours in his blistering 64-ball innings. It was his best limited-overs score for Durham and his best for six years.

Graham Onions claimed a quick wicket when the Foxes replied, but a second-wicket partnership of 97 between Cobb and James Taylor put them back into the game, with Cobb twice pulling Onions for six over square leg. However, Blackwell once again changed the course of the match with the wickets of Taylor, Paul Nixon and then Cobb, who he bowled for 87. Cobb hit two sixes and seven fours in his 78-ball knock.

That ended Leicestershire's hopes and Stokes also completed an excellent all-round performance, claiming three late wickets for six runs as the Foxes collapsed to 216 all out with 2.4 overs remaining.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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