DURHAM got their Royal London Cup campaign up and running in emphatic style with a 72-run victory over Warwickshire in a rain-reduced match at Edgbaston.
Durham were lifted to a hefty 313 for five from 39 overs by Keaton Jennings’ one-day-best 139 (101 balls, 19 fours, two sixes), supported by Stephen Cook (60, 57 balls, seven fours) and Michael Richardson (49, 44 balls, one four, two sixes).
Chris Rushworth and Mark Wood then shared three wickets in eight overs to inflict crucial early damage upon Warwickshire’s reply. From 43 for three, there was no way back for the Bears who mustered only 241 all out despite Jonathan Trott’s 92 (81 balls, 12 fours) – his sixth 50-plus score in eight RL Cup innings.
James Weighell, a 23-year-old seamer playing only his second one-day game for Durham, ended with five for 57 as batsmen holed out under pressure from the escalating run-rate required.
Put in, Durham prospered on a good batting wicket as openers Jennings and Cook added 129 in 19.1 overs before the latter skied young seamer Aaron Thomason to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose.
Jennings and Richardson kept the scoring-rate high with a stand of 123 in 13.4 overs. After Thomason knocked out Richardson’s leg-stump, Jennings advanced to his second one-day century before lifting a catch to long-leg off Thomason.
On a chastening afternoon for Warwickshire’s bowlers, only 19-year-old Thomason took more than one wicket. In only his third one-day game, he ended with four for 64 after Ryan Pringle lofted to mid-on. The only other wicket-taker was Grant Thornton, whose first wicket in county cricket arrived when he trapped Graham Clark lbw.
Durham inflicted rapid blows on Warwickshire’s reply as Rushworth’s fourth ball forced a skied pull from William Porterfield and his 22nd trapped Sam Hain lbw. An impressive spell from Mark Wood then gained reward when Ian Bell edged to wicketkeeper Stuart Poynter.
Trott and Tim Ambrose (42, 38 balls, five fours) added 79 in 12.4 overs but Weighell struck with his fifth ball which Ambrose edged to the keeper. Weighall also dismissed Rikki Clarke, caught at point, and although Trott and Thomason (28, 28 balls, four fours) added 52 brisk runs, with 124 required from ten overs, something spectacular rather than brisk was required.
When Trott lifted Weighell to long-off, Warwickshire’s last hope went with him. All that remained was for Weighell to complete his maiden List A five-for as Thornton and Jeetan Patel sent up catches.
“I thought Durham played really well,” said Trott.
“We perhaps didn’t hit our straps early on and allowed them to get ahead of us.
“We pulled it back later on and they didn’t get too many in the last ten overs but over 300 in 39 overs was always going to be a tough ask.”