MARK Stoneman led the way to keep Durham Dynamos on course for a Yorkshire Bank 40 semi-final place by cruising to victory in a rain-affected game against Scotland in Glasgow.
Scotland made 161-6 in 37 overs at Titwood in Glasgow and Group B leaders Durham were set a revised 104 from 20, with opener Stoneman’s unbeaten 54 leading them home with almost four overs to spare.
The winless hosts won the toss and after they chose to bat first, their top order all got starts but failed to either push on to a big score or get any momentum going.
Opener Hamish Gardiner and Freddie Coleman took 13.3 overs to compile a half-century stand before Coleman was the first man dismissed, bowled by Gareth Breese for 24.
Another spinner, Scott Borthwick, accounted for Gardiner (23) but Richie Berrington and Calum MacLeod came together in a resolute third-wicket stand.
The scoring rate was still not up to scratch, though, and after a stand of 62 MacLeod was bowled by Ben Stokes for 33, made in 42 balls with three boundaries.
The usually belligerent Berrington found the ropes just once in his top score of 39 before hitting his 62nd delivery, from Paul Collingwood, to Stokes.
The two all-rounders picked up a further wicket apiece, Stokes finishing with two for 22 and Collingwood two for 25, before wicketkeeper Craig Wallace at least gave Scotland’s total a late boost with 17 at a run a ball.
Rain restricted Durham’s reply to half the standard allocation of overs, and a required scoring rate just above five an over was never likely to test them unduly.
Captain Stoneman put on 86 in 13.2 overs with wicketkeeper Phil Mustard to take the visitors within sight of victory.
Mustard hit three sixes and a four in his innings of 30, from 38 balls, before being bowled by Moneeb Iqbal – who had Gordon Muchall stumped without scoring two balls later.
But Stoneman reached a 45-ball half-century containing nine fours, finishing 54 not out from 49, and Stokes came in to hit 13 from eight balls, rounding off victory with his second boundary.
Durham head to Chelmsford to take on third-placed Essex tomorrow, though the home side may have one eye on Saturday’s Friends Life T20 finals day.
YORKSHIRE BANK 40, Group B
P W L NR Run-rate Pt
*Durham 9 6 2 1 1.21 12¾
Hampshire 8 6 2 0 0.45 12
Essex 9 5 4 0 0.54 10
Surrey 10 4 4 2 -0.20 10
Lancashire 8 4 3 1 -0.02 9
Derbyshire 8 2 3 3 -0.06 7
Scotland 10 0 9 1 -1.74 1
* Durham points deduction