Porterfield leads confident run chase
Warwickshire 155 for 5 v Durham 151 for 3
Ireland captain Will Porterfield carried reigning north group champions Warwickshire to a five-wicket win in their opening Friends Life t20 match against Durham at Chester-le-Street.
On a glorious evening the left-hander repeated his demolition of the Durham attack in a Clydesdale Bank 40 league match at Edgbaston 12 days ago. He scored 80 in that match as Warwickshire cruised past a total of 286 for 3 and this time he made 83 off 53 balls before being run out with the scores level on 151 and two overs left.
Warwickshire's other star was 22-year-old medium pacer Steffan Piolet, who took 2 for 19 in four overs. He put the brake on Durham after they were put in and Phil Mustard and Gordon Muchall had 55 on the board after six overs. In the end the hosts were indebted to Ian Blackwell's unbeaten 46 off 32 balls for a total of 151 for 3.
Paul Collingwood faced three successive dot balls from Piolet and made only 7 off 10 balls before driving Darren Maddy to long-on on his return following his knee operation. Piolet kept the ball well up and had Muchall caught at long-off for 35 off 27 balls before Mustard skied a catch to mid-off. The wicketkeeper had been unable to accelerate in making 38 off 39 balls.
Blackwell hit two sixes but he was also kept in check at the end of the innings, with Neil Carter conceding only three runs off the 19th over.
Porterfield had the luxury of going to the crease in the second over after Carter had already hit two sixes in his first appearance of the season. He made 18 off eight balls before lobbing a reverse paddle to short third man. Although he received little support, Porterfield kept Warwickshire ahead of the clock as he raced to 50 off 30 balls, driving sixes off Mitchell Claydon and Collingwood.
Collingwood's first over cost only five and judging by the time it took the third umpire to decide Porterfield had not been stumped on 35 it must have been close. But there was no further tension, even when the third umpire was called upon again to decide that Porterfield had been run out when he set off for the winning single and Rikki Clarke sent him back. Clarke made sure of victory by driving the next ball for four past mid-off.