Warwickshire 120 for 5 beat Durham 117 for 8 by five wickets
Legspinner Imran Tahir took a hat-trick as Warwickshire bounced back from their championship humbling at Chester-le-Street with a five-wicket Friends Provident t20 win against Durham tonight. It kept the visitors on course for the quarter-finals, while Durham's fifth successive defeat in the competition left them next to the bottom of the North Group.
At 51 for 7 Durham were on course for their lowest Twenty20 total, but Albie Morkel and Gareth Breese added 66 in the last eight overs to take them to 117 for 8.
Warwickshire were unable to call on England Lions pair Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott but cruised home with two overs to spare. They were 68 for 2 after 11 overs but then both Darren Maddy and Ian Westwood were run out.
They needed 41 off six overs, but Rikki Clarke eased the pressure by driving Ian Blackwell over long-off for six. After Jim Troughton was stumped for 34, Clarke hit a second six on his way to an unbeaten 29 as Warwickshire took 19 off the 18th over, bowled by Neil Killeen in his first appearance of the season.
After being put in on a sunny evening, Durham were already in the mire when Tahir came on for the 12th over. He has already had eight wickets in an innings against them at Edgbaston this season, plus 6 for 69 last Wednesday, and continued to wreak havoc largely with his googlies.
He hurried a delivery between bat and pad to bowl Gordon Muchall for 10, then Will Smith drove to mid-on, where Ant Botha held a juggling catch. Left-hander Ben Harmison edged the hat-trick ball to Clarke at first slip.
Durham took seven runs off each of the first two overs, with a boundary for both openers, but then totally lost their way. The next six overs produced a total of 11 runs for the loss of four wickets.
Ian Blackwell lobbed a simple catch to mid-on off Neil Carter, who also yorked Ben Stokes, while Phil Mustard miscued to midwicket off Boyd Rankin and Dale Benkenstein drove Keith Barker to mid-off.
Breese hit half of Durham's total of eight fours in his unbeaten 30, while Morkel drove the only six, off Tahir. Morkel, who had to send for a runner after suffering a leg injury, reached 48 off 42 balls before holing out off the final ball of the innings.
Durham vs Warwickshire
England Domestic Season
Friends Provident t20