In-form Stokes keeps up the good work
Ben Stokes once again came up with the decisive innings as Durham Dynamos recovered from a poor start to defeat Derbyshire Falcons by with eight balls to spare at Chesterfield.
Fresh from striking a match-winning 72 not out from 48 deliveries in Friday night’s victory over Notts Outlaws, the all-rounder today blasted 46 off 24 balls and shared a crucial stand of 77 with Gordon Muchall.
That came after Durham had slumped to 36 for four in the eighth over when looking to overhaul the Falcons’ 136 for seven. At that stage, a home win looked likely, but Stokes and Muchall turned things around in style.
Although both fell to Wes Durston in the 16th over, it was too late for a Derbyshire side who have now lost their last four matches in the North Group.
Earlier, Derbyshire also recovered from a shaky start with the bat, which saw Durston needlessly run out in the first over before Dan Redfern chopped on facing Will Smith.
Skipper Wayne Madsen straight-drove Gareth Breese for six in an over which cost 11 and Chesney Hughes dispatched Scott Borthwick over wide long-on for his second six as the Falcons reached 66 for two after 10 overs.
But Hughes was then bowled swinging wildly at Chris Rushworth and although Albie Morkel lifted the crowd by twice pulling Ryan Pringle for six, the off-spinner responded well by striking twice in the 15th over.
Morkel's attempts at another big hit resulted in a skied catch to cover and Madsen was bowled on the pull for 32 to leave Derbyshire 100 for five.
Tom Poynton drilled Pringle for a straight six but Derbyshire could not break free in the closing overs.
However, Durham's target looked much steeper when they lost four wickets cheaply.Mark Stoneman was lbw for two trying to sweep Peter Burgoyne and Phil Mustard was bowled, driving, for 18 after collecting successive pulled fours off Morkel.
Durham's batsmen were struggling to get the ball away on a slow, turning pitch and Borthwick and Smith fell to successive deliveries, the former stumped off a wide from Tom Knight before the ex-captain fell lbw to Redfern.
It needed something special to get Durham back in the contest and Stokes delivered by twice pulling Burgoyne for six, carving Mark Turner over the deep cover boundary and heaving Tim Groenewald high over midwicket for another maximum.
There was a fifth six for Stokes before he holed out off Durston, who then responded to another maximum from Muchall by ousting the batsman for 37 in an over that started six, wicket, six, wicket.
Gareth Breese and Michael Richardson ensured Durston’s double strike proved in vain, steering Durham to a victory that lifted them above Derbyshire in the table.