Captain cuts the mustard for Durham
Phil Mustard’s highest one-day score helped Durham to a five-wicket Clydesdale Bank 40 win over Warwickshire that took them level on points with Surrey at the top of Group B.
The left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman struck 129 not out and shared an opening stand of 110 with Michael Di Venuto to guide the north-east county beyond Warwickshire’s 240 for five with 15 balls to spare.
The Tasmanian reached 50 off only 36 balls, 10 faster than his partner, before he miscued to mid-off in the 16th over.
From that point Durham were able to coast along, but Mustard still reached his hundred off just 91 balls with a reverse sweep for four off Chris Metters.
He hit 14 fours in all, while his one six came when he flicked medium-pacer Steffan Piolet over backward square-leg.
After Warwickshire chose to bat, Will Porterfield again showed his liking for the Durham attack by making 74 off 77 balls.
He scored 83 at this venue earlier this year in the Friends Life t20 and 80 as Warwickshire overhauled Durham’s 286 for three in the CB40 match at Edgbaston.
Porterfield put on 106 for the third wicket with Jim Troughton before they fell in identical fashion to successive balls in the 34th over.
A slog-sweep off Gareth Breese, which flew to the boundary in front of square, had taken Porterfield to 50 off 51 balls and Troughton got there two balls faster.
But when they called their batting powerplay but it was Durham who profited as three wickets went down for seven runs.
Porterfield skied a drive back over the bowler Mitchell Claydon’s head but Ian Blackwell, on the edge of the circle at mid-off, ran round to hold the catch. Troughton then drove a more straightforward chance to the same fielder to depart for 50.
Claydon finished with 3-34, having persuaded opener Neil Carter to edge a drive to Mustard during an opening spell in which Graham Onions was also impressively accurate.
Onions also returned during the batting powerplay to have Chris Woakes caught behind before Keith Barker hit two sixes in the last two overs in his unbeaten 29 off 20 balls.
Durham blotted their copybook by bowling 10 wides, four of them by Liam Plunkett in a four-over spell which cost 29 runs.
But it quickly became apparent that they had done well to restrict a strong batting line-up and after taking only a single off each of the first two overs, Mustard and Di Venuto cracked 45 runs off the next four.
Despite the loss of five wickets, Mustard always looked in complete command of the situation.