All-round Pyrah keeps Yorkshire alive
Yorkshire 150 for 7 beat Durham 144 for 8 by three wickets
Richard Pyrah claimed Yorkshire's best-ever t20 figures at Scarborough as his side beat Durham by three wickets to keep alive their slender hopes of going through to the Friends Life quarter-finals. Man of the match Pyrah topped off a great day's work by thrashing a six to win the match with three balls remaining.
In front of a 6,500 crowd, the medium-pacer took five for 16 off his four overs to help restrict Durham to 144 for eight after they had been put in to bat on a slow pitch which made it difficult for batsmen to time their shots.
It was the first time that any bowler had taken five wickets for either side in a Yorkshire t20 match and the first time that it had been achieved against Durham who are still fighting to make it into the quarter-finals themselves.
Inspired by Pyrah's fine effort, Yorkshire responded by charging to 150 for seven to record their fifth win of the season. Coming on as first change, Pyrah soon got rid of both openers after Phil Mustard and Gordon Muchall had got Durham off to a bright start with 28 inside four overs, Mustard giving an easy catch to David Wainwright at mid-wicket and Muchall falling to the same fielder.
In between these dismissals, Ian Blackwell hit high to Andrew Gale at extra cover off Ben Sanderson, who was making his seasonal debut, and Durham slumped to 39 for four when Paul Collingwood drove Pyrah hard to Adil Rashid at mid-off.
Pyrah later returned to fire out Dale Benkenstein and Gareth Breese with consecutive deliveries and he would almost certainly have claimed a hat-trick if Liam Plunkett had not got a nick on to his pad. By far the best of Durham's batting came from David Miller who flew into Leeds-Bradford airport earlier in the day on rejoining his county after playing for South Africa A in Zimbabwe.
He struck the ball sweetly to make 54 off 41 deliveries with four fours and two sixes and he figured in the biggest stand of the innings with Benkenstein (33), the fifth wicket pair adding 75 in nine overs. Miller hammered a six and two fours off three consecutive balls from Wainwright but after driving a big straight six off Rashid he cut the leg-spinner to Gary Ballance at backward point.
Yorkshire also began at a furious pace as Gale and Joe Sayers charged to 42 in five overs, Sayers smacking two sixes and a four in his 20 off 12 deliveries before giving Breese the first of his four catches.
Gale had hurried on to 34 from 19 balls with five fours and a six by the time he was dismissed by Plunkett. Ballance batted sensibly while wickets fell around him and he finally departed to Chris Rushworth in the penultimate over for 48 with six boundaries, leaving Pyrah to win the match by blasting Mitch Claydon through the legside for four and then six.