Durham 223 for 2 (Lees 77, Raine 71) beat Derbyshire 168 for 5 (du Plooy 53*, Coughlin 2-20)
Ben Raine smashed eight sixes to power Durham to their first win of the 2020 season, defeating Derbyshire Falcons by 55 runs in their Vitality Blast contest at Emirates Riverside.
Raine scored 71 from only 39 balls, equaling John Hastings’ record for most sixes in a T20 innings for Durham. He was supported by an unbeaten 77 from Alex Lees and Graham Clark (45) to post the home side’s second-highest 20-over score of 223 for 3 – only two runs shy of their all-time record.
Leus du Plooy top scored for the visitors with a half-century, but Durham were always in control after their fireworks with the bat. Paul Coughlin and Nathan Rimmington claimed two wickets apiece for the hosts to allow them to secure their first win of the campaign, while the Falcons slumped to their fourth defeat.
Durham won the toss and elected to bat as Lees set the tone with two boundaries off Mattie McKiernan’s first two balls. Clark then upped the ante, striking the first six of the game over the midwicket fence, taking 22 off Ed Barnes’ first over from the Finchale End.
The Durham openers reached their fifty stand after only 24 balls, putting pressure on the Falcons. Derbyshire tried to rein in the hosts with spin as Wayne Madsen came into the attack. Clark notched his second six of the contest to race to 45, but he would fall to the final ball of the Powerplay, lofting into the hands of du Plooy at mid-off.
Raine took time to build into his innings, but he exploded into life after dispatching his first six of the game over midwicket. The left-hander then pulled Michael Cohen over the rope from the following over to find his rhythm.
Raine offered an opportunity on 18 when Matt Critchley should have taken a catch on the long-on boundary, only to allow the ball to slip through his grasp for a maximum. The following strike was far more convincing from the Durham allrounder, smashing a six into the pavilion to bring up the fifty partnership for the second wicket from 30 balls.
Critchley was to rue his drop, becoming the next victim of Raine with ball in hand. The left-hander delivered two powerful strikes to notch consecutive sixes, including a huge hit straight down the ground. Raine brought up his second T20 half-century with his first four of the game through cow corner, reaching the milestone from only 29 balls.
Lees then took over with a pull to the fence to notch his third Vitality Blast fifty of the season, bringing up the century partnership with Raine in the process. Raine equaled a Durham record by clearing the rope for the eighth time – matching Hastings’ knock from 2014 against Northamptonshire. The left-hander was finally out for 71, ending a stand of 123 for the second wicket.
Lees ensured that the hosts passed the 200-run mark with a leg glance to the boundary, while Brydon Carse finished the innings with a six and two fours.
Derbyshire were stymied in the opening overs of their innings before Reece cleared the rope against Carse and then drilled the penultimate ball of the over to the fence. Billy Godleman found his range to dispatch Matty Potts for a boundary over the leg-side. The Falcons skipper hit Coughlin for two fours in a row, but his bid for a third resulted in an edge behind to David Bedingham.
Reece displayed an impressive array of strokes in a fine knock of 42 before he was clean bowled by Scott Steel. The climbing run rate put pressure on the Falcons’ batting ranks as Rimmington removed Madsen, and Coughlin notched his second wicket to dismiss Critchley for eight to tighten the screw.
Du Plooy played well for a 31-ball fifty, including five fours and two sixes, but the Falcons were never in contention and fell to a heavy defeat on the road.
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