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30th June 2023 T20 Blast

Durham smash 216 in 20 overs but bad light sees Durham tie on DLS with Worcestershire Rapids

Durham had to settle for their second tie of this year’s Vitality Blast after bad light ended any hope of further play at New Road.

Chasing 216 for four, Durham’s fifth-highest Blast total, the Rapids were 112 for three from 11 overs when the umpires took the players off for bad light. As the sky remained slate grey, that was it for the night, so the teams took a point apiece.

Despite their tall total, Durham were denied their first T20 win in eight attempts at New Road while the Rapids now face a winner-takes-all visit to Derbyshire Falcons.

The visitors piled up 216 for four thanks to Graham Clark, who smashed 78 from 47 balls, supported by Michael Jones, Brydon Carse and Ashton Turner whose violent cameos combined came to 111 from 62.

Mitchell Santner’s cleanly-hit 20-ball 42 then ensured that the Rapids stayed in the game and, crucially, up with the D/L rate, on an evening when the weather always threatened to close in.

Put in, Durham soon lost skipper Alex Lees, who lifted the fourth ball of the innings to mid-on, but recovered to post a solid powerplay (45 for one) and then accelerate spectacularly.

Clark added 83 in 51 balls with Jones (39, 28) and 71 in 35 with Carse whose 19-ball 39 included four sixes before he missed a pull at Usama Mir and was bowled.

That was a rare moment of joy in an unforgiving night for the Pakistan spinner as Durham charged along, only Santner (4-0-25-1) applying any sort of brake.

Clark was superbly caught by Adam Hose, racing in and diving forward at long on, but Turner’s brilliant improvisation (33 not out, 15 balls) brought 28 from the last over and left the Rapids a daunting target.

Their chase started badly when Brett D’Oliviera’s leg stump was sent flying by Ben Raine. Jack Haynes smashed 24 from ten balls but was bowled, sweeping, by George Drissell.

Santner landed some long blows to raise hopes among the home crowd but miscued an attempt to lift Nathan Sowter into New Road and was well taken by Turner at long on.

The chase, already damaged by Raine and Drissell, was further inconvenienced by rain and drizzle, before the light closed in.

After the players left the field, only the most optimistic spectators remained in the ground as the unbroken canopy of grey overhead offered not the slightest hope of brightening. The Rapids’ fluctuating Blast campaign will go right to the wire.

 

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