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21st July 2008

Durham defeat Surrey by 10Wickets

Steve Harmison ensured there would be no defiant rearguard from the Surrey tail, polishing off the innings with a spell of three for 10 in 13 balls to finish with four for 102. Surrey, who were bowled out for 323, lost their last seven wickets for 62 to leave Durham needing only 134 from 45 overs.

Openers Mark Stoneman (60 not out) and Michael Di Venuto (57no) then flourished against a dispirited Surrey attack, having 10.2 overs to spare when the winning hit was made.

Surrey’s hopes of saving the game had rested heavily on their fourth-wicket pair, Jon Batty and Usman Afzaal.
Resuming on 185 for three, still trailing by five runs, they nudged in front when Afzaal eased Ben Harmison through the covers for four in the third over. Steve Harmison was economical enough in an eight-over spell, conceding only 13 runs, but tended to bowl too short, and Durham started to feel the absence of Calum Thorp, who was suffering from back spasms.

Afzaal was more aggressive than Batty, celebrating a 74-ball fifty when he clubbed off-spinner Paul Wiseman over midwicket for six in the next over. Just 20 minutes before lunch Wiseman exacted revenge when Afzaal, on 73, was caught behind cutting, ending a stand of 135 in 37 overs.

Batty completed a patient 140-ball fifty, including six fours, just before lunch, when Surrey led by 76, but fell in suicidal fashion to the first ball after the interval. He went down the pitch to Wiseman and hit a firm drive straight to Steve Harmison at wide mid-off. Despite the unfavourable angle, Harmison hit the stumps with Batty still short of his ground. In the next over Chris Schofield completed a pair when he edged his first ball, from Liam Plunkett, to wicketkeeper Phil Mustard.

Plunkett had been expensive in his early overs, but he was still entrusted with the second new ball and, with the score on 294, he bowled Matthew Spriegel with a delivery which swung late.  Steve Harmison proved to be an even more unplayable prospect for the Surrey tail, claiming the last three wickets in successive overs.
Jimmy Ormond and Murtaza Hussain were comprehensively bowled and last man Jade Dernbach edged to Ben Harmison at slip. 

Openers Stoneman and Di Venuto removed any anxiety Durham may have had by taking 40 off seven overs before tea. As victory neared they completed their fifties off 82 and 81 balls respectively.