Mustard blasts Durham to win over Northamptonshire

HIGH HOPES ... Durham Dynamos batsman Phil Mustard.
HIGH HOPES ... Durham Dynamos batsman Phil Mustard.

BIG-hitting Phil Mustard blasted a half-century to set up a first Friends Life t20 victory of the programme for Durham.

The wicketkeeper-batsman blasted a half-century as the Dynamos beat Northamptonshire by nine wickets.

The Steelbacks were restricted to 124-9 off their 20 overs with England ace Paul Collingwood, Chris Rushworth and Mitchell Claydon each taking two wickets last night at Northampton.

Mustard then smashed an unbeaten 61 off 49 balls, including 10 fours and one six, as the Dynamos easily reached their target with 23 deliveries to spare.

Durham won the toss but chose to put Northants into bat on a wicket that provided assistance for the seamers.

Rushworth dismissed Chaminda Vaas for just a single at the start of the second over, when he trapped him lbw, and Alex Wakely walked in the next over when he edged Graham Onions to Mustard.

The hosts then had Stephen Peters run out for 12 by David Miller at mid-on.

David Sales lasted just two balls before he lofted Collingwood to Durham captain Dale Benkenstein at extra cover before Rob White was pinned lbw by the England all-rounder after plundering 21.

Skipper Andrew Hall clubbed 28 off 23 balls before he was caught leg before by Rushworth to break a sixth-wicket stand with Johan Botha of 63. Northants lost three wickets in the final over as Botha holed out on 36 off 30 balls by launching Claydon to Miller at long-on before the same bowler hit David Willey’s off stump.

James Middlebrook was then run out by Mustard on the final delivery without facing a ball, but six penalty runs were added due to Durham’s slow over-rate.

Chasing 125, the Dynamos openers Mustard and Gordon Muchall started confidently in making 60 between them inside nine overs.

Muchall fell on 19 when he smashed Willey straight to Jack Brooks at deep square leg to give the Steelbacks their solitary breakthrough.

Mustard then reached his ninth half-century in t20 cricket off 38 balls with a four over extra cover off Brooks before Vaas gave him a lifeline in dropping a simple catch at fine leg in the same over.

Ian Blackwell was also dropped, this time by Botha at mid-on off Willey, and he went on to smash 41 not out off 27 balls.

The winning runs eventually came in the 17th over, which was bowled by Hall, when Mustard swept the ball through square leg for four to complete an emphatic victory. Durham play at Derbyshire this evening.