Sizzling Stokes floors Outlaws
Ben Stokes’ stunning 72 not out sealed a over Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge and lifted Durham Dynamos from the foot of the Friends Life t20 North Group.
Stokes arrived at the crease in the sixth over with the Dynamos, chasing a victory target of 160, in some difficulty at 30 for three.
The 22-year old had only registered one previous half-century in the shortest format of the game, that coming in the corresponding fixture at Nottingham last season.
He faced 48 deliveries and hit one four and five sixes, each of them coming from a different Outlaws bowler.
Despite Stokes' heroics, he needed the help of Michael Richardson to get Durham over the line with the winning run being scored from the final ball of the contest.
Earlier, Notts had posted 159 for seven after being invited to bat first, with James Taylor contributing a measured fifty of his own.
Taylor eventually holed out to the final ball of the innings for 54, his runs coming from 43 deliveries with one six and four fours.
Alex Hales and Samit Patel were the other leading contributors in the Notts innings.
Patel looked in good touch, hitting Gareth Breese for three consecutive boundaries before putting Chris Rushworth over the ropes at extra cover but, after reaching 33 from just 19 deliveries, was yorked by Graham Onions.
Hales hit six fours in his 41 yet, once he had departed, Notts lost their way somewhat and it was left to Taylor to ensure the home side posted a competitive total.
Durham lost three wickets inside the opening six overs of their reply, with two of them falling to Harry Gurney - who claimed 3-26.
The home side appeared on course to stretch their winning sequence over Durham to seven victories in eight matches; however, Stokes' well-paced innings condemned Notts to their second defeat in this season's competition and denied them the opportunity of returning to the top of the group.