Mark Stoneman joins in on Durham's day of celebrations

There were plenty of landmarks yesterday, but few more important than Mark Stoneman's 50

Lewis Arnold Durham celebrate a wicket as they powered to victory over Warwickshire at Gosforth yesterday
Durham celebrate a wicket as they powered to victory over Warwickshire at Gosforth yesterday

There were a couple of 150s, a first Royal London Cup win and a new home for Durham to celebrate yesterday.

But the most pleasing aspect of their five-wicket victory over Warwickshire was the form of captain Mark Stoneman.

Eleven days short of his previous competitive half-century as Durham skipper, the left-hander made another in the city of his birth.

The only disappointment was that he tried to run his next ball behind square, but only found his stumps.

Already, though, he had laid a solid platform and without the quality death bowling that knocked Warwickshire off theirs to worry about, Durham cruised home.

John Hastings’ one-day career-best bowling had a bigger bearing on the result and Paul Collingwood scored more runs, but after a top-score of 13 in nine previous limited-overs matches, Stoneman’s performance was more badly needed.

He did not start like a man out of form, nor one who got home from Kent at 6.30am the previous day, carving the first ball of the run chase for four. But it took back-to-back fours in Oliver Hannon-Dalby’s third over to get him going.

Better still, Durham found something they have sorely missed in limited-overs cricket this year – a decent opening partnership.

Making his 150th Durham one-day appearance in a game to mark host club South Northumberland’s 150th anniversary, Phil Mustard’s first four was edged through the vacant third slip.

But soon he was down the pitch to loft Hannon-Dalby over midwicket, then over long-on for six. It made his reverse sweep to Varun Chopra all the more frustrating.

Durham batted with control, Calum MacLeod calmly sweeping and reverse-sweeping to 46.

When a diving Chopra put Collingwood down on one in the 26th over, the game was all but up. Reprieved to chase the five-an-over needed, he was never likely to pass up the chance.

By the time he was out, for 77, Hannon-Dalby taking his wicket after an in-to-out six and a swept four from the previous two deliveries, the scoreboard had frozen, never to restart. It mattered not. No one in the 1,703-strong crowd was in any doubt as to the winners.

It was a very different story when the Bears were 213-2 with ten overs to go, but once the 141-run stand between Tim Ambrose and centurion Jonathan Trott was broken Durham limited them to a score Stoneman thought 20 runs below par.

It took nine deliveries for Warwickshire to score, and then only because Graham Onions over-stepped. He bowled a wide in his next over, but scraped off the rust as he went along.

Will Porterfield was caught at mid-on trying to flick Onions to leg but only looping to Hastings. The Australian had Chopra lbw playing across the line.

By then Trott was into his stride.

He was fortunate to drive his first ball faced just out of the reach of short midwicket Gareth Breese but quickly rolled out a pair of beautiful cover drives which highlighted his excellent form. There were even a couple of cheeky reverse sweeps.

Collingwood – again at short midwicket – got his fingers to Ambrose’s drive on 17 not out and quickly wished he had not. From the next over Trott was unforgiving, pulling three boundaries as the all-rounder conceded as many runs, 13, in his fifth over as his first four combined.

After some treatment Collingwood looked all set to bowl the 34th but, after a long discussion with Stoneman, left the field instead. Keaton Jennings was summoned from the boundary and did a few stretches, only for the plan to change and Ben Stokes to continue despite conceding nine in his previous over.

It almost worked but substitute Scott Borthwick put Ambrose down low at point and spent the next ten minutes wringing his hand.

Ambrose had survived a terrible fumble by fellow wicketkeeper Mustard, who groped for the ball so long he was able to recover his ground.

It all pointed to a huge score.

But when Trott played Hastings’ slower ball on, Durham pounced.

Mustard took a sharp catch stood up to Chris Rushworth, and when Ambrose tried to pull Ben Stokes for six he picked out Gordon Muchall on the square leg boundary. Jeetan Patel was caught at wide long-off.

Rikki Clarke was well held at 45 by Rushworth when he slashed at a ball from Hastings, who dislodged Josh Poysden’s woodwork with a full ball.

The final over encapsulated Durham’s transformation, Stoneman running back from mid-off to take a good catch, then Stokes palming the ball back for MacLeod to catch before he fell over the rope. Warwickshire had been bowled out with two deliveries to spare.


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