A MID-innings collapse proved Durham’s downfall as they lost by 11 runs away to Leicestershire Foxes in their T20 clash.
It was Foxes first win in the competition, and due largely to a career best 81 from Joe Burns, and four-wickets from Anthony Ireland.
Australian Burns hit four sixes and six fours in his 52-ball innings, and with Greg Smith hammering 67 off 45 balls the Foxes posted 176-5 after being put in to bat.
A brilliant 69 from Phil Mustard put the Dynamos in with a chance of victory until they suddenly lost four wickets in seven balls without scoring a run, and were bowled out for 165 in 19.5 overs
Ireland started the collapse by having Ben Stokes caught at deep mid-wicket by Matt Boyce for 35 off 21 balls.
That ended a stand of 79 for the fourth wicket with Mustard, who was then out to Ireland’s next ball in identical fashion.
It had been a typical Mustard innings, full of power hitting that brought him 50 off 39 balls. He faced 50 balls for his 69 that included eight fours and two sixes.
His departure left Durham at 130-5, and incredibly two more wickets went at the same score in the next over from Shiv Thakor.
Michael Richardson was smartly run out by the bowler, and with his next ball Thakor trapped Ryan Pringle lbw.
It was an astonishing turnaround and, despite some big hitting at the end from Gareth Breese, the Dynamos were left with too much to do to win.
They needed 18 runs off the last three balls, and although Breese hit one six Ireland’s next delivery shattered his stumps.
Breese made 29 off 12 balls and Ireland finished with a competition best return of 4-22.
Smith, who was only in the side because Niall O’Brien was on international duty for Ireland, shared a second wicket stand of 81 in eight overs with Burns, hitting 11 fours and a six in what was only his ninth T20 game.
Durham will look to get back on track with a T20 win at home to Nottinghamshire Outlaws today.
The men from the Emirates ICG return to County Championship action when they entertain Derbyshire on Monday.
Durham will hope four-day skipper Paul Collingwood will have recovered from a lacerated thumb to lead the side.
Collingwood’s men are third in the Division One table, having played a game less than Sussex and Yorkshire in second and first respectively