Durham seal semi-final spot
Durham secured the point they needed to confirm their place in the Clydesdale Bank 40 semi-finals with an impressive 36-run win over Surrey in a run-fest at the Kia Oval.
The Dynamos racked up 325 for nine to earn the right to travel to Somerset in the semi-finals, while the home side – already through at the start of play – will host Sussex.
Paul Collingwood’s classy 96 underpinned the visitors’ effort batting first on a flat track, with opener Phil Mustard also weighing in with a brutal 31-ball 66.
Matthew Spriegel retorted with a blistering 86-ball 57 and Tom Maynard contributed a rapid half-century, but their efforts failed to prevent the home side from suffering their first defeat in the competition.
Durham won the toss and batted, and Mustard’s onslaught was immediate as he reverse-swept Hamilton-Brown’s opening delivery of the innings for four and took 14 from the over.
The tone was duly set as he took another three fours from Chris Jordan’s first set of six, with the seamer experiencing the same fate an over later before suffering the indignity of seeing a stock ball picked up and flicked halfway up the first tier of the OCS Stand.
Callum Thorp, Mustard’s surprise opening partner, departed having contributed 13 to an opening partnership of 72 when he was stumped by Steven Davies from Spriegel’s first ball. Mustard still took 15 off the over, however, passing 50 in the process from only 23 balls with nine fours a six.
Mustard’s explosive innings was cut short for 66 from 31 balls when he mis-hit Zander de Bruyn to Stuart Meaker at mid-off, yet Collingwood was unfussed and utilised the 58-yard boundary to maximum effect while picking up singles at will.
Mark Stoneman was lbw after the left-hander played around one that didn’t turn from Gareth Batty, and Michael Di Venuto was needlessly run out for 12, but Collingwood continued to prosper and passed 50 from 45 balls.
He and Benkenstein accumulated at a heady pace before Maynard, who had earlier shelled an easy chance, redeemed himself by pouching a mistimed slog at deep midwicket off Chris Schofield to send Benkenstein back for 48 from 35 balls.
Collingwood kept up the momentum with a cracking slog-sweep that sailed into the stands and then collected back-to-back fours off Schofield to move to 96.
He was, however, denied a deserved hundred when, looking for his favoured leg side, he miscued another cross-bat slog at the same bowler’s next ball and was caught on the deep midwicket rope by Hamilton-Brown.
Ian Blackwell brought up the visitors’ 300 in typical style with a lusty leg-side six to the longest part of the ground off Schofield, and, despite a cluster of wickets falling late on, Durham still amassed a formidable total.
Surrey’s daunting chase began in the worst manner possible when Davies slapped a Graham Onions short ball to Stoneman at midwicket to fall for four, and the same fielder was under a pull from Jason Roy at deep square-leg to give Claydon an opening scalp and leave the hosts 22 for two.
Maynard and Hamilton-Brown took the score past 50, but with pressure building the Lions skipper attempted an ill-advised second run to Thorp at third man and was run out for 30.
De Bruyn was cleaned up by a Thorp yorker, while Maynard passed 50 with two consecutives sixes from recent England one-day debutant Scott Borthwick, only to then be castled by a Thorp cutter in the next over.
Spreigel and Schofield then piled on 98 runs in 71 balls before Schofield fell for 46 when he skewed a full ball from Claydon to Collingwood at backward point.
Batty and Jordan fell cheaply to take the momentum out of the Surrey chase, but Spriegel continued to pummel the Durham bowlers and it was only when he was bowled by one from Claydon that ricocheted off his pad that the Dynamos could breathe easily.
Left-handed Spriegel bludgeoned nine fours and four sixes in amassing his highest one-day that highlighted his growing stock.