Benkenstein maintains Durham's momentum
Durham 132 for beat Yorkshire 131 for 8
Durham consolidated third place in Friends Provident t20 North when they cruised to a six-wicket home win against Yorkshire. After the visitors struggled to 131 for 8, Durham were rocking on 1 for 2 when Tino Best removed both openers in his first over.
But Ross Taylor and Dale Benkenstein followed their unbroken partnership of 117 against Leicestershire on Monday by putting on 101 in 11 overs for the third wicket. Taylor fell for 49 when trying to cut Adil Rashid, who then had Ben Stokes brilliantly caught at deep midwicket by Best. However, Benkenstein remained unbeaten on 57 - which included four sixes - as Durham got home with 4.5 overs to spare.
Inept batting saw the Yorkshire innings stagnate after they reached 54 for 1 after six overs. The next five overs produced only 13 runs for the loss of three more wickets and it was left to Anthony McGrath to try to salvage something from the wreckage.
But he was unable to reproduce the previous evening's form in the win against Lancashire as he scored only 16 in his first nine overs at the crease and finished on 34 not out off 34 balls. With his brother Steve still resting because of a back problem, Ben Harmison played a key part for Durham.
He started Yorkshire's slide by holding a fine, tumbling catch when running in from long-on to get rid of Herschelle Gibbs for 10. Harmison also helped to throttle the Tykes with two tight overs in mid-innings, in which he also bowled Jacques Rudolph.
The innings stalled after being given a good start by skipper Andrew Gale, who drove sixes off Mitch Claydon and Albie Morkel in scoring 28 off 16 balls. Ian Blackwell tightened Durham's grip by bowling Gerard Brophy through an attempted sweep and holding a superb, left-handed return catch to see off Jonny Bairstow.
Durham fielded a team with nine potential bowlers and Phil Mustard changed the bowling almost every over until Blackwell came on for the ninth. He bowled straight through his four-over allocation to take 2 for 16.
After struggling when brought in for the previous night's match, Best was ecstatic when Mustard miscued to mid-wicket then Blackwell's off stump went flying. But Taylor immediately clipped Best through square leg for four then Benkenstein lifted Steve Patterson over the rope at midwicket as the third wicket pair took control.