Breese, Stokes see Durham home in thriller

Ben Stokes celebrates Durham's victory in the Royal London One-Day Cup final today
Ben Stokes celebrates Durham's victory in the Royal London One-Day Cup final today

GARETH Breese brought the curtain down on his one-day career at Durham with the winning runs to see them crowned Royal London champions at Lords.

It was a magical moment for Breese, who will leave the county at the end of the season, as he edged the four runs needed to seal a three-wicket triumph.

Breese, who had earlier taken three wickets and two catches rushed to embrace Ben Stokes as the ball crossed the boundary.

In truth, Stokes was the hero for the Jets with a solid and workman-like 38, coming in when Durham found themselves in real trouble from Jeetan Patel’s spin.

But it was fitting that Breese got his side over the line, finishing with a flourish.

Early on the game had looked like it was going to end in a comfortable win for Durham.

But in murky conditions, in which both batting line-ups looked trouble it was a much closer affair.

Durham were rocked by two early blows as Phil Mustard was bowled by Rankin for 0, and Callum MacLeod followed shortly afterwards, also for a duck, caught by Chopra off the bowling of Rikki Clarke, to leave them on 12-2.

Skipper Stoneman and Keaton Jennings looked to have rode out the storm with a 38-run partnership, but when the latter was out lbw to Jeetan Patel for eight, the pressure was back on at 60-3.

Stoneman was next to fall another lbw scalp for Patel, departing having made 52.

Scott Borthwick and Paul Collingwood looked to rebuild, but the spinner became Patel’s third lbw victim having made 12, with Durham on 86-5.

The former England all-rounder was joined by current England ace Ben Stokes and they looked to block out the dangerous Patel.

Inexplicably, Chopra took the spinner out of the attack, but after a costly over from his replacement Boyd Rankin, he was forced to reverse the decision.

Collingwood (21) and Stokes looked set to lead their side home, but the four-day skipper was caught by William Porterfield from the bowling of Oliver Hannon-Dalby to leave the Jets 117-6.

South Shields-born Gordon Muchall made just nine before he became Patel’s fourth scalp of the day - all to lbw, and Durham found themselves seven wickets down and needing 36 for the win.

Stokes did appear to have one moment of madness, playing a crazy reverse sweep, but it beat the wicketkeeper and slips to race for a four.

After that, the all-rounder blocked out Patel, who took 4-25 from his 10 overs.

Durham had dominated from the off with the ball, and could have had an almost immediate breakthrough.

Man of the moment, Chris Rushworth, on the back of his 15 wickets in the County Championship win over Northamptonshire, managed to find the edge of William Porterfield’s bat, but the ball dropped just short of the slips.

Not that the men from the Emirates ICG had too long to wait.

As Rushworth found the edge again and Porterfield departed for nine - caught behind by Phil Mustard.

That brought Jonathan Trott to the crease, but he was soon to follow Porterfield back to the dressing room, trapped lbw by Paul Collingwood having made just two.

Warwickshire were reeling on 29-2 and could have found themselves in deeper trouble had the normally reliable Collingwood not spilled a slip catch as Tim Ambrose mis-timed his shot off a Ben Stokes delivery.

The let off didn’t prove costly, with Warwickshire struggling to get a grip with the overcast conditions or Durham’s clinical bowling.

Stoneman’s side continued to turn the screw, as Warwickshire tried to dig in, a 34-run partnership between Ambrose and skipper Varun Chopra was brought to an end as the former edged to Gareth Breese off the bowling of Collingwood having made 11.

Chopra, who went on to make 64, was the only Warks player to offer any real resistance, but couldn’t find a partner to stay with him long enough to get their side out of trouble.

Six balls later, Laurie Evans had come and gone - out for a duck as he gloved a Stokes’ short ball into gully where Breese took an easy catch.

Mustard then put down a difficult chance as Stokes drew a nick from Rikki Clarke, but the all-rounder bowled him shortly after to leave Warks in deep trouble on 68-5.

Chris Woakes (23) shared a 47-run partnership with his captain to steady the ship temporarily, but he was caught from a superb catch from MacLeod to become Breese’s (3-30) first victim of the game.

Chopra’s battling display was brought to an end by Rushworth (2-24), who bowled him round his legs.

Tail-enders Jeetan Patel (14) and Oliver Hannon-Dalby (six) were both caught off Breese, and with Boyd Rankin run out for 1, Warwickshire were all out for 165 - Ateeq Javid unbeaten on 22.

Despite some excellent bowling from Patel and lots of endeavour from Warwickshire it wasn’t enough.