Durham claimed a scintillating three-run Natwest T20 Blast victory after a thrilling finale at Nottinghamshire Outlaws last night.
The home side appeared well in control of the contest after Steven Mullaney’s four wickets had helped them reduce their opponents to 132 for eight in the opening 20 overs. He then ended the match unbeaten at the crease on 26, but Nottinghamshire had only managed to get to 129 for seven before time ran out.
Mullaney was involved in the first wicket of the night, catching Mark Stoneman off Andy Carter, and, after the exit of Calum MacLeod, he had Paul Collingwood caught and bowled.
The 27-year-old then added three more wickets in quick succession as the visitors slumped to 76 for six, Phil Mustard (27) the first and Ben Stokes following before the irrepressible Mullaney trapped Ryan Pringle lbw to take his second scalp in two balls.
Carter (three for 31) got his third wicket by bowling Usman Arshad and with Durham on 108, Luke Fletcher struck to remove Gareth Breese, Michael Lumb diving to produce his third and best catch of the evening.
Top-scorer Gordon Muchall (31 not out) helped the away side complete the innings without further loss, and they made an encouraging start with the ball as Chris Rushworth saw off Alex Hales and James Taylor.
Lumb headed to the pavilion not long after and it was 24 for three, but the hosts then stabilised a little.
Samit Patel (18) departed with his side on 51 and Chris Read (23) was next to go, leaving Nottinghamshire on 81 for five in the 15th over.
The loss of Riki Wessels (26), bowled by Stokes, was a blow in the 18th but Sam Wood provided hope by smashing a six off the final ball of the penultimate over.
It meant nine was required from the last six balls for a home victory, and for all they had done previously, Mullaney and Wood were ultimately unable to get their team over the line, with the latter being caught by Stokes off Rushworth (three for 19) as he tried to fire another six off the final delivery.