Stokes' blast earns last-ball win
Durham 160 for 7 (Stokes 72*, Gurney 3-26) beat Nottinghamshire 159 for 7 (Taylor 54) by three wickets
A stunning innings of 72 not out from Ben Stokes took Durham to a three-wicket victory over Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge and lifted his side from the foot of the Friends Life t20 North Group.
Stokes had arrived at the crease in the sixth over with the Dynamos in some difficulty at 30 for 3, in pursuit of a victory target of 160.
The 22-year old left-hander had only registered one previous half-century in the shortest format of the game, that coming in the corresponding fixture at Trent Bridge last season. He faced 48 deliveries and hit one four and five sixes, each of them coming from a different Nottinghamshire bowler.
Despite Stokes' heroics, he needed the help of Michael Richardson to get Durham over the line, with the winning run being scored from the final ball of the contest.
Earlier, Nottinghamshire had posted 159 for 7 after being invited to bat first, with James Taylor contributing a measured fifty of his own. Taylor eventually holed out to the final ball of the innings for 54, with his runs coming from 43 deliveries faced, with one six and four boundaries.
Alex Hales and Samit Patel were the other leading contributors in the Nottinghamshire innings. Patel had looked in good touch, hitting Gareth Breese for three consecutive boundaries before putting Chris Rushworth over the ropes at extra cover but after reaching 33 from just 19 deliveries he was yorked by Graham Onions.
Hales hit six fours in his 41 but once he had departed, Nottinghamshire lost their way somewhat and it was left to Taylor to ensure the home side posted a competitive total.
Durham lost three wickets inside the opening six overs of their reply, with two of them falling to Harry Gurney, who ended with figures of 3 for 26.
The home side appeared on course to stretch their winning sequence over Durham to seven victories in eight matches but Stokes' well-paced innings condemned Nottinghamshire to their second defeat in this season's competition and denied them the opportunity of returning to the top of the group.