Blackwell spins Australia A to defeat
Durham 197 (McDermott 4-38) and 185 (Blackwell 62, Coulter-Nile 3-32, Holland 3-49) beat Australia A 159 (Wood 4-36) and 204 (Davies 62, Blackwell 7-52) by 19 runs
Ian Blackwell took a career-best 7 for 52 with his left-arm spin as Durham secured a 19-run victory against Australia A. The visitors were well placed on 99 without loss chasing 224 but after Ruel Braithwaite made the initial breakthroughs Blackwell, following his crucial innings on the second day, worked his way through the middle order.
The openers, Ed Cowan and Liam Davis, resumed with a half-century stand already to their name and made good progress for nine overs until Cowan fell to Braithwaite who then quickly removed Michael Klinger for a duck.
Blackwell, who played one Test for England in 2006, then started to make his impression by dislodging Peter Forrest but the key breakthrough came in his next over when Davis, who had made 62, was trapped lbw. Before this game Blackwell had only played second XI cricket since May, yet soon had three wickets to his name when Tom Cooper was caught behind for a duck.
George Bailey and Tim Paine momentarily steadied the chase but Blackwell then jolted the innings again with two wickets in two balls. Firstly Bailey was caught by Ben Stokes at slip and Nathan Coulter-Nile was taken at short leg. Mitchell Starc hit the hat-trick ball for four but was bowled from the next delivery he faced against Blackwell, whose seventh wicket was that of Jon Holland.
The last-wicket pair, Paine and Alister McDermott, edged Australia A towards their target but the last ball of Mitchell Claydon's first over back in the attack ended the game when McDermott picked out deep cover.
This was Australia A's last warm-up match before their two-match series against England Lions which begins on August 7 at Old Trafford.