Ross Taylor blitz crushes Leicestershire
Durham 225 for 2 beat Leicestershire 154 by 71 runs
Ross Taylor blasted 80 not out from 33 balls to set record-breaking Durham on their way to a 71-run victory over Leicestershire in the Friends Provident t20. Taylor hit nine sixes in his innings and shared in an unbroken stand of 117 in 45 balls with Dale Benkenstein as they plundered 81 off the last four overs of the hosts' innings at Chester-le-Street.
Both the batting records Durham broke at Edgbaston on Friday were beaten again. The total of 225 for 2 was 10 more than they scored against Warwickshire, and Taylor beat Ian Blackwell's Durham record score of 79. Durham's total was also the highest in the competition this season, and although Leicestershire kept up with the required run rate for much of their innings they lost wickets regularly and were all out for 154.
Four of the last five wickets went to Paul Collingwood, with Taylor completing the win by holding his third catch at deep midwicket. England star Collingwood completed his two-game stint without having a bat, although he did bring along the World Twenty20 trophy for photo opportunities.
Nadeem Malik conceded only two runs off the first over of the Durham innings and Claude Henderson only one off the 10th. But young seamers Harry Gurney and Wayne White between them conceded 102 from seven overs.
Phil Mustard, who won the toss, and Blackwell put on 102 for the first wicket. Mustard fell for 65, made from 41 balls, when he lifted Henderson to long on, bringing in Taylor in the 12th over. Five overs later and three successive sixes off the bowling of left-armer Gurney took him to 50 from 23 balls.
When Blackwell departed for 37, skying a heave at Matthew Hoggard, Benkenstein went in ahead of Collingwood and hit three sixes in his unbeaten 35, which came off 17 balls.
Leicestershire needed a big innings from Brad Hodge, but after making 12 he took a wild hit at Mitch Claydon and was caught by Taylor at backward point. Ben Harmison, recalled in place of brother Steve, took the next two wickets, then Blackwell struck with his first ball, having James Benning caught behind. It was a sign of the visitors' desperation when Paul Nixon was stumped swinging wildly at Blackwell.
James Taylor scored most of the 21 runs which came in the 13th over, bowled by Liam Plunkett, and at that point Leicestershire were 15 ahead of Durham's score at the same stage. But Taylor departed for 38 and wickets continued to fall as Collingwood left his mark.