Durham dazzlers

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ANOTHER explosive hundred from Phil Mustard – his second century in as many days – saw Durham claim the spoils in the Clydesdale Bank 40 clash at home to Glamorgan Dragons yesterday.

And the wicket-keeper batsman, who smashed Surrey to all parts of the ground the previous day for a thrilling 143, has warned there will be no letting up from him or his team-mates.

Durham are still locked in a relegation fight in the County Championship, and while results have picked up of late, Mustard says they can’t take their eye off the ball.

He said: “We have got up a head of steam at the minute, but we haven’t got a choice about that, because we know if we don’t keep up that head of steam then we will struggle.

“We are starting to pick up a few points and the batters are starting to get some runs behind them, and the bowlers are doing well as well.

“I think we are picking up at just the right time, but we will just have to wait and see.”

There was no waiting and seeing from Mustard yesterday.

Having fired his way to a 26-ball half century, the Sunderland-born star showed no signs of taking his foot off the gas, and 29 deliveries later he had his second ton of the weekend.

He was ably supported by fellow opener Mark Stoneman (112), who proved the perfect foil for the explosive Mustard, with a watchful and patient knock that also saw him pass the century mark from 100 balls.

Proud new father Gordon Muchall was celebrating the arrival of his second child, and weighed in with an excellent 75 before being caught on the last ball of the Durham innings as they reached what seemed a superb total of 307-2.

However, Glamorgan proved no slouches with the bat either, and looked to have the target within their sights.

But their impetus faded with the removal of Mark Wallace, who scored his maiden one-day century before falling to Chris Rushworth for 105.

Wallace and Marcus North put on 117 in 17 overs for the fourth wicket, leaving the Dragons on 207 in the 28th over.

But when North holed out to long-on off Gareth Breese for 59, it left the visitors with too big a mountain to climb. And Breese, the pick of the Durham bowlers with 4-50, Scott Borthwick and Rushworth, who took two wickets apiece made sure it was game over.

The two weekend wins lifted Durham from next to bottom in their group to third place with two games left.

Now Mustard is hoping that the revitalised Durham can go on to finish with a flourish. He said: “Early on this season we didn’t get much luck, every little thing that happened was going wrong, but over the past three weeks we’ve had three very good wins.

“I think that’s proved that if you hang in there long enough then things do change.

“That’s what we have spoken about here all year, hanging in there. We’ve got a very good side and we have hung in there and hopefully we are getting the rewards now.”