Mustard helps Durham keep semi-final hopes alive
Durham 251 for 2 beat Northamptonshire 247 for 7 by eight wickets
Wicketkeeper Phil Mustard smashed an explosive century as the Durham Dynamos kept their semi-final hopes in the Clydesdale Bank 40 alive with an eight-wicket win over the Northamptonshire Steelbacks.
The Steelbacks posted 247 for 7 from their 40 overs, with David Willey hammering 57 off 48 balls and Alex Wakely 55 off 43 deliveries. Paul Collingwood and Scott Borthwick took two wickets each at Northampton. Mustard then dominated the Northamptonshire attack in clattering a sensational 139 not out off 93 balls, including 11 fours and seven sixes, as the Dynamos easily reached their target with 58 deliveries to spare.
The hosts won the toss and chose to bat and the in-form Wakely raced to 50 off just 34 balls as part of an opening partnership of 115 with Willey. Willey, who smashed four sixes, also completed a half-century - his coming off 43 deliveries, but Durham finally had a breakthrough when he departed when he was bowled by Ian Blackwell.
Wakely soon followed when he was trapped lbw by Gareth Breese before David Sales (seven) went cheaply by chipping Borthwick to Dynamos captain Dale Benkenstein at mid-on. Rob Newton was to fall on 49 when he was left bamboozled by Borthwick's googly and saw his off stump hit. Rob White plundered 39 before edging England international Graham Onions' short delivery to Mustard.
Former England man Collingwood then claimed the wickets of James Middlebrook (11) and Steelbacks captain Andrew Hall (19) in the final over. They were caught respectively by Will Smith at deep midwicket and Ben Stokes at long on as the Dynamos were set a target of 248.
The visitors got off to a flying start in blasting 75 off the opening powerplay but Mark Stoneman was to perish on 27 when he launched Hall to David Burton at mid-on. Mustard hung around to quickly reach 50 off only 33 balls as the runs continued to flow for Durham and they were already more than half way towards their target by the end of the 14th over.
Stokes, called into the England squad for the one-day international against Ireland, made 28 before he was well caught by White at mid-off off Willey. Mustard then completed his fourth century in one-day cricket off 81 deliveries as he and Collingwood, with an unbeaten 38, added 111 between them. Eventually the winning score came when Mustard smashed White for six over midwicket in the 31st over as he claimed his highest one-day score.