PHIL Mustard hammered Durham’s highest individual Twenty20 score of 91 in a 76-run home victory against Yorkshire at Chester-le-Street last night.
The left-hander struck 11 fours and three sixes in scoring his runs off 52 balls as Durham amassed 215 for six, their joint second highest T20 total.
Without their England men and injured skipper Andrew Gale, Yorkshire quickly slipped to 22 for three in reply and finished on 139 for eight.
Gary Ballance made 68 and the second-highest scorer was acting captain Azeem Rafiq with 15 not out.
Durham completed the double against their neighbours but have lost their other three games and both teams are struggling to progress in the competition.
Durham’s previous best was 83 not out, scored by Herschelle Gibbs against Derbyshire last year, and their first century looked certain until Mustard tried to run Rich Pyrah to third man and chopped the ball into his stumps in the 14th over.
Rafiq put Durham in and after they took only 18 off the first three overs Mustard hammered 27 off the fourth, with the help of a no-ball from Jack Brooks.
Sixes over long-on and mid-wicket were followed by fours to fine leg, long-on and backward point.
The score had reached 62 in the sixth over when Mark Stoneman clipped Pyrah to short fine leg to depart for 12.
Liam Plunkett proved hard to get away in his first two overs until Mustard hooked his 12th ball behind square for his eighth four to reach 50 off 26 balls.
Scott Borthwick helped to maintain the tempo, hitting Rafiq over mid-wicket for six and the stand was worth 83 in eight overs when Mustard was out.
Borthwick holed out for 35, off 18 balls, then Ben Stokes hit four successive balls from Plunkett to the boundary.
He fell for 23, but Gordon Muchall kept the runs flowing, his unbeaten 27 coming off 16 balls after 17 came off the final over from Plunkett.
Yorkshire’s top three totalled five between them as Chris Rushworth persuaded Phil Jacques to clip to mid-wicket and Dan Hodgson to drive to mid-off, while Joe Sayers was bowled by Stokes.
Ballance reached 50 off 31 balls but finally skied a catch to extra cover off Gareth Breese and Yorkshire could do little more than play out the overs.
Elsewhere in North Group, Leicestershire Foxes captain Josh Cobb hit a career best unbeaten 67 to end Nottinghamshire’s 100% record.
Cobb led by example, clubbing seven fours and a six in his 52-ball innings, as the Foxes chased down a victory target of 159 with 14 balls to spare.
Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan struck a blistering 43 off 21 balls in a fourth-wicket stand of 67 with Cobb as the Outlaws lost for the first time in five games in the competition this season. For once their powerful batting line-up failed to fire. Samit Patel top-scored with 50 off 32 balls, but the Outlaws could only post a below-par total of 158 for six after being put into bat.
Alex Hales and Michael Lumb gave them a good start, putting on 41 in the first five overs, with Lumb hitting two sixes off Anthony Ireland.
But once Lumb skied a catch off Rob Taylor and was out for 23, and Hales edged behind off Shakib for 27, the momentum went out of the visitors’ innings.
Patel and James Taylor (33 off 32 balls) did their best to step up the pace, but some tight bowling from Shakib, Cobb and Shiv Thakor kept the Outlaws in check.
The last 10 overs only brought Nottinghamshire 69 runs and the Foxes made light work of the chase.
Cobb and Joe Burns put on 55 in the next six overs before Burns, dropped when he had made just seven, was caught at cover off Mullaney for 26.
Niall O’Brien was stumped for 14 going down the pitch to left arm spinner Graeme White but that proved to be the Outlaws’ last success.
Dropped twice, Cobb made the most of his fortune, reaching his 50 off 38 balls. Shakib hit three fours and three sixes in his whirlwind 43, with Cobb striking the winning runs off the fourth ball of the 18th over to give the Foxes their second win in six games.