One-Day Cup Report: Warwickshire v Durham
Durham returned to winning ways in the Royal London Cup with a comfortable seven-wicket (D/L) victory over Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
A solid all-round display saw Durham bounce back from their North Group defeat at Worcester two days earlier.
They restricted Warwickshire to 244 for eight with tidy bowling, led by Ben Raine and Liam Trevaskis, supported by excellent fielding.
Tim Ambrose (62, 89 balls, two fours), Chris Woakes (50, 45 balls, six fours) and Sam Hain (50, 73 balls, three fours) made half-centuries but the scoring-rate was slowed for too long by the need to shore up the innings after the loss of early wickets.
The home side’s total looked under-par and even more so when, after an hour’s rain delay, the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern equation left Durham requiring 211 in 36 overs.
Alex Lees (78 not out, 69 balls, six fours, one six), Graham Clark (66, 62 balls, seven fours, one six) and Gareth Harte (51 not out, 49 balls, six fours) eased Durham eased to victory with 14 balls to spare to ensure they remain right in the heart of the qualification race.
Warwickshire, meanwhile, without a win after four games, desperately need to win the derby against Worcestershire at New Road on Sunday. Added to their problems is yet another injury concern as Ambrose did not keep wicket after suffering some hip discomfort between innings.
Put in, the home side received a perky start from Ed Pollock who collected 22 in fours and sixes but was then smartly caught by Scott Steel, running round the mid-wicket boundary, off Brydon Carse. Steel then showed safe hands again, at deep extra cover, to remove Dom Sibley off Trevaskis.
Ambrose and Hain added 69 in 15 overs before the latter was bowled behind his legs by Gareth Harte. That was the first of three wickets in 23 balls as Will Rhodes chipped Carss to mid-wicket and Liam Banks lifted Ben Raine to long off to leave the Bears 142 for five.
Woakes injected some momentum with a 43-ball half-century but Durham fielded tigerishly, turning a number of apparent boundary hits into ones or twos. They also caught like cats, with Harte pouching Ambrose at mid-wicket, Steel pouncing like a panther for a third time when Alex Thomson skied Carse, and Clark making no mistake when Woakes lifted Matty Potts to long on.
The DLS calculation left Warwickshire badly needing early wickets but they took only one, when Steel was brilliantly caught at cover by a diving Sibley off Olly Hannon-Dalby.
Clark and Lees were little troubled in a stand of 93 in 14 overs, the former reaching his second List A half-century, from 47 balls, in the grand manner with a six hoisted into the Hollies Stand off George Panayi. He then pulled a Thomson long-hop to mid-wicket and Woakes swiftly had Cameron Bancroft caught by sub keeper Alex Mellor but Lees skilfully shepherded his side to victory in an unbroken partnership of 79 with Harte.