Barrow buoys Somerset but Durham cling on
Durham 222 for 9 (Muchall 75, J Overton 4-42) beat Somerset 208 (Barrow 72, Plunkett 4-33) by 14 runs
Durham avenged last season's CB40 semi-final defeat at Taunton with a 14-run win against injury-hit Somerset at Chester-le-Street. It looked like being a stroll for Durham, but former England Under-19 batsman Alex Barrow marked his debut in the competition by playing some audacious strokes to score 72.
Somerset needed 76 in 9.3 overs when Barrow was joined on 147 for 8 by George Dockrell, but they had reduced the target down to 18 off eight balls when Barrow skied a catch on the leg side. In the final over Dockrell was caught at long-off and Somerset were all out for 208.
Graham Onions was pulled out of Durham's team following his inclusion in England's 13-man squad for the first Test against the West Indies and his replacement, Jamie Harrison, took two wickets in his first seven balls. The 21-year-old left-arm seamer marked his debut by having Craig Kieswetter and Peter Trego lbw on the front foot.
Chasing Durham's 222 for 9, Somerset rallied from 24 for 3 through a stand of 57 between Arul Suppiah and Craig Meschede, which was ended by Liam Plunkett's first ball of the season. It was short and wide but Suppiah cracked it fiercely to Will Smith, who leapt to take the catch above his head at backward point.
After working on his action over the winter in an attempt to restore his accuracy, Plunkett has been playing in the second XI. In his second over Craig Meschede also chased a wide one and sliced to Gareth Breese at deep gully and Plunkett went on to finish with 4 for 33.
Jamie Overton took 4 for 42 for Somerset, although he did bowl four of his side's 10 wides. His last two victims were caught at long-on by his twin, Craig.
Craig Meschede dismissed Paul Collingwood, who had pulled two sixes over a short boundary on his way to 13 when he went down the pitch in the ninth over and skied to deep mid-on. Durham recovered from 43 for 3 through Gordon Muchall and Will Smith putting on 124 in 24 overs.
Muchall dominated, scoring 75 off 87 balls with six fours and a six, while Smith struggled to find his timing and survived two sharp chances in scoring 18 off the first 41 balls he faced. But he showed the value of patience as things suddenly clicked and he hit two sixes in accelerating to 55 off 66 balls.