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Durham thwart title bid; Win rounds off Pro40 campaign.

DURHAM ended Somerset's hopes of winning the Pro40 title by defeating them with two balls to spare yesterday. After deciding to bat first at Taunton, Somerset made 242-7 with Marcus Trescothick first to go for 13.

Craig Kieswetter was joined by Justin Langer and it was the Somerset wicketkeeper who brought up the 50 before being caught by Gordon Muchall at cover for 26. After Langer was caught by wicketkeeper Phil Mustard for 13, Zander de Bruyn and James Hildreth added 93 runs in 18 overs for the fourth wicket before the latter was stumped by Mustard off Scott Borthwick for 49.

Pete Trego was out next ball trying to hit Borthwick over long on, but De Bruyn survived the hat-trick ball and went to his half-century. De Bruyn had moved onto 55 when he was caught at long on by Borthwick off Steve Harmison in the 36th over. After surviving a chance on 27, Suppiah hit some lusty blows, bringing his halfcentury up off the last ball of the innings. Durham openers Mustard and Ian Blackwell got the reply off to a flying start with Blackwell bringing up the 50 with a six over long on in the fifth over. However, with the score on 79 Mustard was caught at wide mid-wicket by Trego off Charl Willoughby. Blackwell went for 26 and Will Smith brought up the 100 in the 11th over before being caught at deep midwicket by Alfonso Thomas off Ben Phillips.

Phillips struck again when he bowled Kyle Coetzer and, going into the final 15 overs, Durham needed 75 to win with five wickets remaining. Gordon Muchall and Gareth Breese kept their heads amid the mounting pressure and the sixth-wicket partnership was worth 64 when Muchall (61) drove a ball from De Bruyn straight at Trescothick at short mid-wicket.

The visitors lost two more wickets before Borthwick took three off the fourth ball of the final over to seal victory, Breese remaining unbeaten on 38.

SUSSEX claimed the final Pro40 Division One title despite losing to Worcestershire. The competition has been disbanded, although counties will still play 40-over cricket next season in a different guise, meaning the Twenty20 Cup champions are the last Pro40 winners.

Sussex lost by a heavy margin of 49 runs against Worcestershire at New Road and were made to wait nervously for news from Taunton.

The trophy ends a mixed season for Sussex, who have also won the Twenty20 Cup but been relegated from the top tier of the championship.

CAPTION(S):

UNBEATEN Durham batsmen Gareth Breese clips the ball.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 28, 2009
Words:428
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