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Guptill comes good for Derbyshire

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Martin Guptill

Martin Guptill hit 60 off 43 balls, dominating an opening stand of 88 with Wes Durston in a match-winning total of 183 for three at Derby

New Zealand opener Martin Guptill found his form at the right time to fire Derbyshire to a five-run Friends Life t20 victory over Durham at Derby.

Guptill hit 60 off 43 balls and Wayne Madsen made his first half-century in the competition as the Falcons amassed 183 for three to set up an opening win in the North Group.

Gordon Muchall led Durham's chase with 62, but after Derbyshire's spinners removed the dangerous Paul Collingwood and Ian Blackwell cheaply, the Dynamos came up short on 178 for five.

Guptill looked in good touch from the start as he dispatched the second and third balls of the innings from Graham Onions to the midwicket boundary.

The Durham seamers tended to pitch too short and Guptill and Wes Durston took advantage until Gareth Breese stemmed the flow with his off-spin.

But Guptill still reached his maiden fifty for Derbyshire off 35 balls before launching Ian Blackwell over midwicket for six.

The openers put on 88 in 11 overs, but when Durston tried to reverse-sweep Breese he was caught behind for 25, and Guptill followed in the spinner's next over, caught at extra-cover off a full toss.

Chesney Hughes hit Breese over long-off for the second six of the innings before Breese took a fine running catch at deep midwicket to hold Hughes' pull off Onions in the 15th over.

Derbyshire were in danger of falling away until Madsen improvised well to reach 50 from only 28 balls as 53 came from the last four overs.

The South African ensured Durham faced a challenging chase but Mustard and Muchall quickly moved into overdrive despite Luke Sutton rotating his bowlers.

Muchall reached his half-century off 30 deliveries and the pair equalled Derbyshire’s opening stand before Mustard gave Hughes the charge with rain falling and was stumped for 36.

Hughes varied his pace intelligently to restrict the batsmen to just one boundary in his four overs and, with slow left-armer Tom Knight also keeping it tight, the pressure told on Blackwell, who drove the teenager to Garry Park long-on.

Durston landed two big blows as Muchall skied to cover and Collingwood's attempt to clear the ropes found only Jonathan Clare deep midwicket.

Durham needed 56 off the last four overs and, despite Dale Benkenstein and David Miller plundering 18 from Durston's third over, the advantage shifted further towards Derbyshire when Benkenstein pulled a Steffan Jones full toss to deep midwicket.

Although Breese pulled Tim Groenewald for six, 15 off the final over was too much for Durham as Jones used all his experience to seal victory.

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