Ross Taylor and Ian Blackwell break Durham's duck
Durham 215 for 6 beat Warwickshire 200 for 7 by 15 runs
Ross Taylor and Ian Blackwell trumped Warwickshire with high-powered half-centuries as Durham registered their first Friends Provident t20 win of the season by 15 runs at Edgbaston. New Zealander Taylor romped to 64 from only 28 balls and Blackwell went on to make 79, the highest score by a Durham batsman and a platform for the Dynamos to go beyond 200 for the first time in short-form cricket.
When they closed on 215 for 6 after taking 33 from the last two overs, it was also the highest score conceded by Warwickshire. The early loss of Jonathan Trott - the England batsman caught behind after driving Mitch Claydon's first ball for four - could have signposted a hefty defeat.
But Ian Bell had other ideas. Celebrating his recall to the England one-day squad, Bell went close to upsetting the odds with 85 from 47 balls in a brilliant performance that stretched Durham almost to breaking point. With the home side only 52 short with five overs to go, there was huge relief when Steve Harmison broke a stand of 98 with wickets in successive balls.
Gareth Breese held the catches when Bell (nine fours and four sixes) skewed to backward point and Jim Troughton (33) top edged to mid-wicket. That was the end of Warwickshire's challenge, although they kept going until Harmison struck twice in the final over as they closed at 200 for 7.
Durham's innings began with an early setback, Phil Mustard falling to Chris Woakes' third delivery, but from that point the evening turned against the home side's England Lions seam bowler. Having set an economy record for his county with a return of 4-1-9-1 against Derbyshire on Wednesday, he conceded five tines as many runs, the bulk of these during a rampaging second-wicket stand of 113 in 58 balls.
Taylor was almost unstoppable as he peaked with a 4-4-6-6-6 sequence in five balls from Imran Tahir and Rikki Clarke. In all he plundered three fours and six sixes before he departed to a catch on the long-off boundary off Darren Maddy.
Unusually for Blackwell, he was often the lesser partner in the big-hitting stakes, although he still reached his own 50 from only 34 balls. There was some belated relief for Warwickshire when Woakes bowled Dale Benkenstein behind his legs and Ant Botha dismissed Blackwell and Ben Stokes, both leg-before, in the same over. Even then there was time for Albie Morkel to clatter 26 off 18 balls.