Durham enjoy festive victory
Durham 147 for 6 (Mustard 59, Muchall 44*, Brooks 2-13) beat Yorkshire 146 for 7 (Pringle 2-13) by four wickets
Phil Mustard and Gordon Muchall combined to guide Durham to a penultimate-ball victory over Yorkshire at North Marine Road on a day that had the feel of festival about it. It was a tight game for 38 overs, but the 39th eased Durham's nerves as their recently departed colleague, Liam Plunkett, conceded 16 runs and left them needing just nine off Ryan Sidebottom's over to finish the job. Michael Richardson saw to it with a boundary and a single off the two balls he faced.
There can be few finer ways to spend a summer's afternoon than at the cricket at Scarborough. It is a proper cricket ground, a club ground that is more than fit to host top-flight county games. The eastern terrace is a miniature replica of its elder brother on the western side of Headingley. The backs of the three-storey houses facing Trafalgar Square are somewhat shabby, paint jobs needed, but oddly this adds to rather than detracts from the ground's character.
Similarly, the guest houses on North Marine Road hug the ground and contribute to the sense that we are in a sporting arena that is significant but intimate. The little tea room at the Trafalgar Road End has a black roof and, painted in white, TEA ROOM, just in case anyone were in any doubt.
It's very rare to have a day at Scarborough without at least a breeze blowing in off the North Sea, which is just a good strong arm away from the main gates. Today it was gentle and benignly warm.
This was a day for families and groups of friends: 4,200 good-natured people turned up, at least a fifth of them children. Dads and uncles bowled soft balls to boys and girls on the outfield, and they were able to get up close and watch the players practising before play started. Boundary fielders signed autographs willingly.
The queue for the bar on the eastern side ten minutes before play began was 45 yards. Yet, for all the beer that might have been swilled, there was never a hint of anything other than communal enjoyment of a cracking cricket match. Yorkshire, though, have started their Twenty20 campaign with two straight defeats so their own mood might be tenser than they had hoped.
Yorkshire's innings, after Paul Collingwood put them in, was an odd thing. It started brilliantly, ended impressively, and in between was like a souffle going wrong in the oven. Andrew Gayle and Adam Lyth, the local lad, the only Whitby man to play for the county, raced to 51 off six-and-a-half overs, but young offspinner Ryan Pringle got rid of both of them in short order.
Gary Ballance and Adil Rashid chipped in usefully, then Plunkett scored 30 before being remarkably run out by a direct hit from long on by Richardson. Richardson is a wicketkeeper. Moreover, he was making his T20 debut.
Durham's reply was built on Phil Mustard's 59 off 52 balls. When he was joined by Muchall the game appeared to be going away from Durham, but the 30-year-old Geordie sorted it out. He scored 44 without ever looking in trouble, and won the Man of the Match award.
Plunkett's last over was disastrous. He went for three fours, two of them off leg side full tosses, and after that the game was up for Yorkshire.