Durham sweep past faltering champions
Durham 117 for 1 (Mustard 51) beat Leicestershire 114 for 7 (Razzaq 47, Stokes 2-14) by nine wickets
Durham kept alive their hopes of reaching the Friends Life t20 quarter-finals by thrashing holders Leicestershire by nine wickets. The Foxes have now lost six out of eight games in defence of their title after struggling to 114 for 7 after being put in. Durham raced home with 6.4 overs to spare.
Durham have four wins and four defeats and if they beat Leicestershire again at Grace Road on Friday they will go into next Sunday's final game at home to Lancashire with quarter-final hopes very much alive.
Leicestershire opener Abdul Razzaq batted for all but three balls of the innings for 47, while Phil Mustard made a 29-ball half-century in Durham's opening stand of 82.
Chris Rushworth began the match with the Twenty20 rarity of a maiden over. He followed up with three more dot balls, before Razzaq cut him for four and six and followed up with an off drive for four.
Razzaq then went back into his shell and found the boundary only three more times in his 57-ball innings. With the ball darting around in the early overs, Razzaq left several balls and Graham Onions conceded only two off each of his first two overs.
Leicestershire were restricted to 21 off five before Josh Cobb drove Onions over long-on for six, only to be struck on the boot by the next ball and fall lbw. Greg Smith made nine off 15 balls before lifting Scott Borthwick into the hands of Ben Stokes at deep midwicket.
Ramnaresh Sarwan was run out for a duck when he turned Gareth Breese to backward square leg and set off for a run. It was Razzaq's call and he did not move. Breese picked up two wickets as Razzaq's team-mates tried to force the pace and in the final over Razzaq and Ned Eckersley both fell to skied catches off full tosses by Stokes.
Durham scored only three off the opening over, bowled by Matthew Hoggard, but then the runs began to flow. Herschelle Gibbs was unbeaten on 49 when Stokes finished the match by driving Nathan Buck for a six over long-off.