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Blackwell turns Australia A over

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Australia A suffered a setback ahead of their two games with England Lions, losing to Durham by 19 runs as left-arm spinner Ian Blackwell claimed a career-best 7-52.

At 99 without loss, the tourists were well-placed to chase 224 on the final day of three at the Emirates Durham ICG, but Blackwell built on seamer Ruel Brathwaite’s double breakthrough to aid a memorable victory for the LV= County Championship Division One’s bottom side.

Ed Cowan’s team were last week held to a draw by Derbyshire and go into the first of two four-day matches versus the Lions, from Tuesday at Old Trafford, without a win in their two warm-ups.

Ian Blackwell

Ian Blackwell's career-best 7-52 aided a surprise 19-run victory for Durham over Australia A, who are now to face England Lions twice

Durham’s second straight victory - last week against Middlesex they broke their 2012 championship duck - will boost confidence before hosting fellow Division One strugglers Surrey next week.

Blackwell, who had not played for the first team for more than two months, strengthen his case for inclusion by beating his previous best of 7-85, which came for Durham versus Lancashire at Old Trafford three years ago.

Cowan and opening partner Liam Davis this morning resumed with 18 and 38 respectively of the team’s 56 and were initially relatively untroubled.

They added 33 until the erratic Brathwaite had the skipper held at midwicket for the first of five wickets for 24 runs. He had Michael Klinger caught behind in his next over.

Blackwell, who found prodigious turn to gain three scalps via edges in 20 straight overs, then struck twice in as many. Peter Forrest and Tom Cooper went cheaply either side of Davis being lbw for 62.

Tim Paine, who offered some resistance with an unbeaten 26, put on 37 with George Bailey until Black dismissed Bailey and Nathan Coulter-Nile in consecutive balls - the latter at short-leg.

Mitchell Claydon ended proceedings by having Alister McDermott caught at deep cover for 12.

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