DURHAM Dynamos went down to a narrow defeat in their Friends Life T20 clash against Yorkshire Carnegie yesterday – despite a battling 50 from returning overseas batsman David Miller.
The South African scored 54 from 41 balls, which was an even more impressive feat given the fact that he had only landed in the country from Zimbabwe at 8.30am that morning.
It all proved to no avail though in front of the 6,500 crowd as the home side claimed victory in the final over of the match at Scarborough.
Richard Pyrah and Gary Ballance proved to be Yorkshire’s matchwinners.
Medium-pacer Pyrah claimed Yorkshire’s best-ever T20 figures as his side kept alive their slender hopes of going through to the Friends Life quarter-finals – five for 16 off his four overs to help restrict Durham to 144 for eight – and he completed a man-of-the-match performance when he thrashed a six to clinch the match.
Ballance though had laid the platform for victory though, digging in for a crucial 48 as wickets tumbled around him.
The Dynamo’s opening pair made a fist of it though put on 28 before Phil Mustard was caught by David Wainwright for 18 – the first of three wickets to fall in three overs.
Ben Sanderson had Ian Blackwell (2) caught by Andrew Gale at cover in his second over and then Gordon Muchall fell to the same fate as Mustard, caught by Wainwright at mid wicket in Pyrah’s second over for five.
With Paul Collingwood caught at mid-on with only one run on the board, Durham found themselves on 39 for four in the eighth over and very much on the back foot.
But then came Miller who, together with Dale Benkenstein, put on 77.
Miller went on to score his maiden fifty for Durham. He was dismissed on 54 in the same over after he was caught at backward point by Ballance, having played the key role in getting Durham to 144.
It was a catchable target for the home side and Yorkshire scored quickly at first – 42 in five overs – before the opening stand was broken in Paul Collingwood’s first over when Joe Sayers was caught at cover by Gareth Breese for 20.
Liam Plunkett struck in the following over when Benkenstein caught Gale for 34 and it was a second wicket for Collingwood in as many overs when Gerard Brophy was caught in the slips by Breese. Breese picked up his third catch, dismissing Lyth off Benkenstein for five in the 10th over and claimed a fourth two overs later when he caught Jonathan Bairstow (6) off the same bowler, which saw Yorkshire’s total at 83-5.
It took five overs before the sixth wicket was claimed, Scott Borthwick bowling Rashid for seven, but Ballance had proved far more durable than his partners and when he departed in the penultimate over, bowled by Chris Rushworth, Yorkshire were 132-7 and it was left to Pyrah to ease his side to victory with a four and a six from successive deliveries.
The Dynamos return to action tonight when they face Warwickshire Bears at Edgbaston, 5.40pm start, hoping to get back to winning ways and clinch their place in the quarter-finals of the competition. They also take on Northamptonshire on Thursday at home.