In-form Vaas secures vital win
Northamptonshire 164 for 5 beat Durham 134 by 30 runs
Chaminda Vaas starred with bat and ball once again as Northamptonshire Steelbacks claimed an impressive win over Durham Dynamos. Vaas smashed a superb 73 off 49 balls - including 11 fours and one six - and shared a second-wicket stand of 91 with Ireland wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien as the Steelbacks posted 164 for 5.
He then took three wickets for 23 runs with the ball as the Steelbacks then dismissed the Dynamos for 134 with 10 balls to spare.
Northamptonshire won the toss and chose to bat first in humid conditions but they lost David Sales with the very first ball when he edged Albie Morkel to Gareth Breese at slip. However, a quickfire 50 partnership off 30 balls between Vaas and O'Brien put the Steelbacks back on track.
The pairing was finally broken when O'Brien (37) sliced Breese to Ian Blackwell at fine leg. Vaas went on to reach 50 off 33 balls as he passed his previous best in Twenty20 cricket of 54, made against Worcestershire two weeks ago.
Zimbabwe international Elton Chigumbura was then bowled by former England international Blackwell when he swung at and missed his delivery. Vaas' superb innings came to an end when he launched Blackwell to Durham captain and wicketkeeper Phil Mustard before Nicky Boje was bowled by Ben Stokes.
Alex Wakely and captain Hall then guided the hosts through the last three overs, unbeaten on 12 and eight respectively.
Chasing 165, the Dynamos lost Mustard with their first ball when he edged Vaas to his opposite number O'Brien. Ross Taylor then two enormous sixes over the leg-side on his way to 24 before falling by edging Lee Daggett to O'Brien.
The visitors then lost two quick wickets when Blackwel sliced Boje to Middlebrook at fine leg before youngster Ben Stokes was stumped by O'Brien off Middlebrook to leave Durham struggling on 52 for 4. Dale Benkenstein made 24 before he was run out by Sales at extra cover when Morkel tried to run a quick single off Boje.
Breese was dropped by David Willey at backward point off Vaas in the 15th over, but Chigumbura held on to Morkel at long on when the South African hammered Vaas to him. Middlebrook then bowled Breese as Durham began to wilt and the same fate befell Liam Plunkett when Hall took out his middle stump.
Will Smith then smashed Hall to Willey at mid off before, fittingly, Vaas finished the match by trapping Steve Harmison lbw.