A STUNNING bowling display from Hetton Lyons’ overseas star, Lal Kumar, left Durham Academy in tatters, bowled out for the lowest score in Dukes North East Premier League history on Saturday.
The Pakistani talisman blasted the county lads out for 16, comfortably beating the previous poorest Premier Division total of 27, which was set by South Shields last summer.
Kumar took eight wickets for just four runs in seven devastating overs, the youngsters routed for the new record low and all ten wickets going down for seven runs as the total lurched from 9-0 to 16 all out.
There were no fewer than seven ducks as the roof caved in for the Academy.
There had been no hint of the impending doom earlier in the day when Lyons managed to post a target of 180-9, the runs shared around, with the top scorer being Jonny Malkin with 27. Shaun Birbeck (25), Sean Tindale (24) and Gary Scott (21) also topped 20.
Spinner Adam Hickey picked up three wickets, but then it was the Academy lads who were in a spin as the Hetton paceman destroyed them.
More importantly for Lyons, the victory kept them in touch with leaders South Northumberland, who defeated Tynemouth by 112 runs.
Champions Stockton have emerged as the main challengers after they hammered hapless Sunderland by 145 runs after a sensational individual display by Richard Waite.
The Teessiders blasted 279-4 before declaring at Ashbrooke, five times Premier League player of the year Waite undefeated with 101 to his name when the innings was closed.
Matthew Brown, run out by Mark Dale for 77, and Jimmy Ward (45) also made good contributions.
Former Chester-le-Street player Waite then went on to take 5-45 as Sunderland subsided to 134 all out with Ward ensuring Waite didn’t take all the headlines. He grabbed four wickets for four runs as the Wearsiders went down to their first defeat of the summer.
Chris Watson (32) and Paul Jenkin (29) top-scored down the order for the Ashbrooke men after they collaped to 38-5. Chris Peareth (22) and Dale (28) contributed.
Chester-le-Street gave a glimpse of their old powers at Jesmond where they overran hosts Newcastle by 208 runs to move into fifth place in the table.
A second-wicket partnership of 137 between Simon Birtwisle and Andrew Smith set the scene, Smith eventually falling for 74 made from 80 balls.
John Coxon then shared a fifth-wicket stand of 87 as Birtwisle completed his ton, ending with 117 from 130 balls, with 13 fours and two sixes.
Skipper Coxon declared the innings after 60 overs with the total on 307-8, and his own contribution 69 not out, with four sixes.
Newcastle were never allowed any momentum in the run chase, eventually folding from 74-3 to 99 all out in 36.1 overs, Stephen Cantwell (4-19 in seven overs) and Callum Thorp (3-21) secured the most comfortable of successes for the Cestrians.
Whitburn slid into the bottom two after losing a game at Blaydon they should probably have won.
A brilliant innings of 98 by Paul Coughlin, scored off 95 balls, stood glaringly alone as the only major batting contribution to Whitburn’s 42.4-over total of 165.
He seemed the only player to be able to keep Gary Stewart at bay, the paceman grabbing seven wickets for 45 runs, and he was the man ending Coughlin’s display, trapping the Durham lad lbw two short of a deserved century after he had struck seven fours and four sixes, his runs coming from just 95 balls faced.
That total looked more than enough for Whitburn when Aussie Scott Condy grabbed four wickets to leave Blaydon almost down and out on 72-6, but a brilliant, unbroken, seventh-wicket stand of 94 between Geoff Stewart (55no) and Craig Burke (43no) broke Whitburn hearts and snatched victory away from them.
In the day’s other game Benwell Hill had little trouble disposing of bottom club Gateshead Fell, and the maximum points haul from a 106-run victory inched them closer to the top two teams.
Dan Young laid the Hill foundations with an opening half-century, but it was Zohaib Khan who completed the construction of a total of 244-6 with a 110-ball 108, the brilliant knock including 14 fours and a six.
Fell had 60 overs to bat, and they almost made it to the draw, losing their last wicket on 138 with just 10 balls remaining, Graeme Race (3-12) picking up the last two wickets in three balls to deflate the visitors.