Mustard too hot for Surrey to handle
Phil Mustard’s astonishing hitting put a big dent in Surrey's chances of retaining their Clydesdale Bank 40 title as they slipped to a 142-run defeat against Durham.
After being overtaken by Hampshire at the top of Group B the previous evening, Surrey's hopes of a quick return to the summit were demolished by Mustard's 91-ball 143.
Durham were on course to beat their record 40-over total of 325, set against the same opponents at the Kia Oval last year, until Mustard was fourth out with the total on 271.
The remaining six overs brought only 27 runs for the loss of five more wickets and Durham finished on 298 for nine.
If Surrey thought they had clawed their way back into the game, they quickly shot themselves in the foot as both openers departed carelessly with the score on 10.
Jason Roy revived them with 43 off 24 balls, but the visitors were all out for 156 in 29.1 overs, completing an unhappy week in the north-east following their innings defeat in the LV= County Championship.
Mustard led a charmed life early in his innings. He went down the pitch to Matthew Spriegel and edged the ball just out of Steven Davies' reach on one, before surviving a very confident lbw appeal from Jade Dernbach.
The same bowler put down a simple return catch with Mustard on 16 and the left-hander went on to hit seven sixes.
When Durham chose to bat Mark Stoneman initially dominated the strike, cutting, driving and pulling Dernbach for three fours in the fourth over on his way to a run-a-ball fifty.
The opening stand was worth 87 when Stoneman skied a return catch to Zander de Bruyn, who cleaned up at the end of the innings to finish with 5-46.
Mustard's first six, over long-on off Gareth Batty, took him to 49 and he reached 50 off 45 balls before accelerating to 100 off 74.
He put on 118 in 14 overs for the second wicket with Ben Stokes, who made 45 before he was stumped off a leg-side wide by Murali Kartik.
Mustard, whose previous one-day best was 139 not out at Northampton last year, hit three sixes on his way from 121 to 142 before looping a catch to point off Jon Lewis.
At the start of Surrey's reply Rory Hamilton-Brown slashed at a short ball from Mitchell Claydon and edged to slip before Davies shaped to pull Chris Rushworth and lobbed a catch to mid-on.
Roy and Gary Wilson put on 68 but Mark Wood, who conceded three successive fours in his first over, restored control for Durham with a trio of wickets.
When Roy went for a big hit and skied a catch to Mustard it effectively signalled the end of Surrey's challenge.