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Durham remain calm amid confusion

Will Smith

Durham captain Will Smith's unbeaten 50 anchored his side's 156 for four - a total that proved too much for Leicestershire

Injury-hit Durham claimed top spot in Group C with a convincing win over Leicestershire in their Clydesdale Bank 40 clash at Grace Road.

Chasing a revised target of 176 in 26 overs, the Foxes could only manage 154 for eight as they lost by 26 runs under the Duckworth/Lewis method.

But Durham suffered further injury woe when seamer Will Gidman hobbled off after twisting his right ankle during his fourth over, becoming the seventh bowler on Durham’s injured list.

To add to the drama, there was also confusion soon after the start of Leicestershire’s innings when it was discovered the victory target should have been set at 181 under an updated version of the D/L software.

But, with the innings already under way, the umpires ruled that the target of 176 would have to stand. In the end, the mistake had little bearing on the outcome of the game with the home side never scoring quickly enough to stay in the hunt.

After winning the toss and batting, Durham had their innings interrupted by rain having reached 91 for two off 19 overs.

Despite the loss of Phil Mustard for a duck in the first over, Ian Blackwell and Ben Harmison took the fight to the home side, sharing a bright stand of 77 before Blackwell edged behind off Wayne White.

Harmison went on to make 45, but it was Durham's captain, Will Smith, who tilted the game in his side's favour after the rain break with a fine, unbeaten 50 off just 33 balls, with the innings containing four boundaries.

That took Durham to a total of 156 for four off 26 overs and Leicestershire looked favourites to secure victory with their revised target.

But they never maintained the necessary run-rate, despite 45 off 41 balls from Will Jefferson and useful knocks of 22 by Paul Nixon and 36 by White.

In the end, they left themselves with too much to do and, with 31 runs needed off the last two overs, fell well short of the target.

Seamer, Chris Rushworth, claimed 3-29 and Harmison 2-25 for the visitors, while there were also two wickets for Gidman before he limped off as Durham continued their unbeaten start to the season in all competitions.