Ian Blackwell appeals
A sun baked Emirates Durham ICG greeted the Durham and Australia A players this morning as both sides were in with a chance of victory in this tourist match. But it was the hosts that came out on top in this close last day finish, winning by 19 runs
Career best figures of 7-52 from Durham’s slow left arm all rounder Ian Blackwell was the difference between the two sides. After his second innings score of 62 it was his seven wickets with the ball that led the home side to victory over their Australian counterparts.
Australia A began the day with 56 runs on the board and still required 168 more runs for victory, with all ten wickets still in hand the tourists were slight favourites as play began.
Resuming day three were Aussie pair Liam Davies (38*) and skipper Ed Cowan (18*). They carried on where they left of last night with an impressive scoring rate, Liam Davies bringing up his 50 from only 65 balls.
Blackwell began his long bowling spell from the Lumley End but it was Ruel Brathwaite that struck in his first over of the day as Cowan chipped Ruel’s third ball straight to Mark Wood at midwicket, departing for 40. That started a run of wickets, with Klinger caught behind attempting to drive an away swinging Brathwaite delivery on the up.
Blackwell then got the first of his seven wickets, removing Forrest for 1 caught sharply at slip by Gordon Muchall and Tom Cooper caught behind without scoring.
He then went on to get the big wicket trapping top scorer Liam Davies for 62, leaving Australia A still 101 runs short of their target with 5 wickets remaining.
George Bailey and Tim Paine put together a small partnership taking the Australians past the 150 mark, only for Blackwell to strike again with Bailey edging a rising turning delivery, parried by keeper Richardson and caught by Ben Stokes at slip. Blackwell then struck next ball, with Coulter Nile edging onto his pad and caught short leg by Rammy Singh, the 5th wicket for the Durham spinner.
It didn’t take long after the lunch break for Blackwell to get going again picking up his 6th wicket, Australian Mitchell Starc for 4 with the first ball after lunch, leaving the Australians eight down for 188. Jon Holland attempted to get the scoring rate going again and trying to put Blackwell back over his head for a boundary his miscued shot went straight to by skipper Mark Stoneman, giving the spinner his seventh wicket and career best figures.
Alistair McDermott came in and survived a barrage of short bowling from Mitchell Claydon, reducing the deficit to less than 20, before going hard at a delivery outside off-stump. The ball made it as far as deep cover before a perfectly positioned Mark Wood took the catch to seal the Durham victory.
A big 19 run win over Australia A was the perfect preparation for Durham, with their pivotal LV=County Championship fixture against Surrey CCC only three days away, the team will be looking to make it a hat trick of first class wins as they aim to climb the LV=CC table.