This was a brilliant match which showcased Twenty/20 at it’s scintillating best, a great advert for the game of cricket as modern and relevant for the 21st Century…. And this is coming from someone who values Test and Championship cricket as the pinnacle of the sport.
But the 50 over game, which has been ailing for some time, had another nail smashed into it’s coffin by the tedious and badly organised 2007 World Cup. The success of the IPL and the projected Champions League must mean that cricket has two wonderful and successful brands in First Class and Twenty/20.
Yorkshire were cruising to victory, and top spot in the group as Durham required 28 runs in just two overs. And nearly got them as Tim Bresnan capped a disappointing afternoon by being carved over extra cover for six by Gareth Breese off the last ball of the game to level the scored.
The game ebbed and flowed and despite the howling gale that swept across the venue and necessitated layers of clothing reminiscent of autumnal football attendance, the players participated with a very high level of commitment, hardly surprising given that both Clubs are in with a shout of qualifying from the group which offers a window of opportunity for Champions League riches. Both Harmison and Vaughan, ODI retirees the pair, took part with gusto and performed well, although the Durham paceman’s four victims came at nine an over.
The England captain, initially be calmed, opened his shoulders for a 24 ball 34 (5 fours) which helped Yorkshire enter the second half of the innings eyeing 170.
But once McGrath (65) and Rudolph (33) were dismissed, matters subsided somewhat and when Mustard and De Venuto teed off at ten an over to start Durham’s knock, the home teams 159/7 looked eminently gettable.
Cue 4/20 from Pyrah and Yorkshire were clear favourites until the unlikely combination of Plunkett and Breese secured the tie for Durham.
The Western Terrace was three quarters full, and in grand good humour and voice. A great way to spend ten quid for an afternoon of entertainment.