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Burns and Ireland sink Durham

Joe Burns hit a career-best 81 and Anthony Ireland claimed four wickets as Leicestershire Foxes snatched a dramatic 11-run victory against Durham Dynamos at Grace Road.

Australian Burns hit four sixes and six fours in his 52-ball innings; with Greg Smith hammering 67 off 45 balls the Foxes posted 176 for five after being inserted.

A brilliant 69 from Phil Mustard kept the Dynamos in with a chance of victory, but they suddenly lost four wickets in seven deliveries without scoring a run and were bowled out for 165 with a ball unused.

Ireland started the collapse by having Ben Stokes caught at deep midwicket 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 delivery in identical fashion.

It had been a typical Mustard innings, full of power-hitting and featuring eight fours and two sixes in 50 balls.

The wicketkeeper’s departure left Durham 130 for five 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.

Breese was bowled by Ireland with 12 needed from two deliveries, ending his innings on 29 and giving Ireland a competition-best return of 4-22.

Smith, 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 to lay the platform for Leicestershire’s winning score.

The former struck 11 fours and a six in what was only his ninth t20 game.

It was the Foxes’ first win in the competition this season and puts them back in the mix in the battle for a quarter-final place.

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