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23rd July 2008

durham dynamos v somerset sabres

After amassing 286 for eight, it looked like being a much easier win for Somerset until Steve Harmison joined Liam Plunkett with Durham on 187 for nine in the 30th over. Plunkett hit three huge sixes in a 27-ball half-century and was on 72 when he was run out with 11 balls left.

Harmison, on 25, drove fiercely back to the bowler, Alfonso Thomas, who did well to gather and complete the run-out of the non-striker. After their Twenty20 Cup quarter-final victory against Glamorgan yesterday evening, Durham’s hopes of challenging Somerset’s total seemed to virtually vanish in the first three overs of their reply.
Left-armer Charl Willoughby removed Michael Di Venuto, Paul Collingwood and Shivnarine Chanderpaul to reduce the hosts to 16 for three.

Collingwood drove to mid-off and Chanderpaul departed first ball, trying to run it to third man and getting a bottom edge onto his leg stump. After Sunderland-born Mark Turner chipped in with two wickets, Willoughby took a fourth to make it 66 for six before Durham skipper Dale Benkenstein and Gareth Breese put on 87.
When Benkenstein pulled Peter Trego for six to reach 50 off 41 balls there was still hope, but Thomas and Omari Banks prevented the necessary acceleration.

Benkenstein fell for 58 when he lifted Banks straight to Arul Suppiah on the midwicket boundary, and Thomas had Breese lbw for 34. The only Durham bowler to make any impression on the excellent pitch was Collingwood, with 3-52. His first victim was Justin Langer, who shared a second-wicket stand of 175 in 24 overs with Trescothick before holing out at deep midwicket after making 63 off 65 balls. 

After reaching his century off 73 balls, Trescothick was partially held in check by Benkenstein bowling his own gentle medium-pace after realising neither pace nor spin was the answer.  Off-spinner Breese conceded 46 off five overs, which included the two sixes Trescothick hit in addition to his 16 fours.
He was run out by a direct hit from Chanderpaul, coming in from third man, after being sent back by Banks.
When the West Indian then ran himself out in the next over it caused Somerset to stumble when they had been on course to score at least 20 more than their final total.