Match Report: Durham v Essex Eagles


Durham v Essex Eagles

Royal London Cup
Sunday 08 August, 11am
Emirates Riverside


Team News:

Durham: Graham Clark, Alex Lees, Scott Borthwick (c), David Bedingham, Cameron Bancroft (wk), Sean Dickson, Liam Trevaskis, Luke Doneathy, Paul van Meekeren, Chris Rushworth, Jack Campbell.

Essex Eagles: Nick Browne (wk), Alastair Cook, Tom Westley (c), Josh Rymell, Feroze Khushi, Ryan ten Doeschate, Simon Harmer, Aron Nijjar, Shane Snater, Ben Allison, Luc Benkenstein.

Match Details:

Umpires: Paul Pollard & James Middlebrook
Toss: Durham and elected to field
Result: Durham won by 2 wickets

Scorecard: View Here

Match Reaction: Feroze Khushi

Match Report:

Despite a stunning century from Feroze Khushi on his List A debut, the Eagles lost to Durham by 2 wickets under the DLS method in their Royal London Cup clash at Chester-le-Street.

The Eagles posted a total of 227 from 45 overs but their opponents, who were set 232 for victory, sealed the win with 5 balls to spare thanks to an unbeaten 126 from opener Alex Lees who recorded his second hundred of this Royal London Cup campaign as the hosts reached 233-8.

Khushi’s century arrived from 101 balls and the 23-year-old right-hander batted beautifully. Although offering a difficult chance with his score on 14, he proceeded to arrive at his century with confidence and without giving the Durham attack a moment’s further encouragement.

His hundred included 1 six and 7 fours in an innings that displayed superb timing and powerfully executed drives on both sides of the wicket.

Also impressive was another young gun, 20-year-old Josh Rymell who teamed up with Khushi to rebuild a flagging innings as the duo posted a century partnership that spanned 131 balls maintaining concentration and determination despite two interruptions for rain.

Rymell, playing only his third List A game, scored 40 and also looked confident and tidy and as he and Khushi caught the eye batting with flair and purpose as both posted their best scores yet in senior cricket.

The start was delayed by 15 minutes with the overs reduced to 48 per side and two further rain interruptions, one for 2 minutes, reduced the match to 45 overs per side.

The inexperienced Khushi and Rymell began their effective combination after the visitors had been in deep trouble at 38-3 just after the 10 over mark. Alastair Cook had struck 3 boundaries in 4 balls but with his score on 12 out of 15, he edged a Chris Rushworth delivery to second slip where the ball bounced out of the hands of Scott Borthwick but was caught by David Bedingham at first slip.

Nick Browne went for 3 before Tom Westley became a second wicket for Rushworth when caught at mid-wicket for 18 before Khushi and Rymell administered much-needed first aid. The half-century stand arrived from 69 balls and they continued to dominate the bowling until having added 101 in 22 overs, Rymell was caught at mid-on.

Ryan ten Doeschate scurried his way to 21 helping to add 61 in 9 overs for the fifth wicket before he was caught just before Khushi reached a milestone century. Having spent 65 balls in accumulating his first 50 with the aid of 2 boundaries, one a six, his second 50 took just 36 balls including 6 additional fours.

He was finally dismissed to the penultimate ball of the innings leaving Simon Harmer 12 not out.

The Eagles made three changes to the side that beat Gloucestershire in the previous match, a victory that took them to the head of the group table.

Sixteen-year-old all-rounder Luc Benkenstein, who has played recently for the Second XI was handed his senior debut whilst Khushi also made his List A debut.

Adam Wheater had to withdraw from the match shortly before the start due to family reasons and with neither Will Buttleman nor Michael Pepper with the travelling party, Browne was forced into action as emergency wicket-keeper. It was also the first time since May 2017 that the left-hander had played in a List A match.

Benkenstein, son of former South African One-Day international Dale who also played for Durham before moving onto a coaching role at Hampshire, was born in Durban and is a right-hand batsman and leg-spin bowler.

2 wickets in 4 balls brought the Eagles back into the game Cameron Bancroft was lbw attempting to sweep Harmer before new recruit Benkenstein took just 10 balls of his first spell to claim Bedingham who was beaten by turn and lost leg stump.

That brought the Eagles back into the game as Durham were reduced to 105-4

The Durham openers had begun in lively fashion with Alex Lees despatching Ben Allison for 4 successive boundaries in the bowlers second over and forcing Westley to withdraw him from the attack having conceded 25 from 2 overs but the bowler soon returned with good line and length to concede just 6 runs from his next 3 overs.

It was a good catch by Khushi that ended the first-wicket partnership on 55 when Graham Clark, on 24, pulled a ball from Aron Nijjar to deep mid-wicket. Scott Borthwick joined Lees to carry the total to 91 when Harmer knocked out his middle stump to start a decline in the innings with 3 wickets falling for 14 runs in under 4 overs.

Sean Dickson and Lees then posted 51 in just over 9 overs before Dickson, facing ten Doeschate, picked out Allison at mid-on with the home side now requiring another 76 from 15 overs.

With 10 overs remaining, Durham needed a further 57 runs and they lost their 6th wicket having reduced the target by 10 runs when Browne dived to his left to catch Liam Trevaskis off the bowling of Allison.

But Lees continued to prove a dominant presence as he masterminded the victory. He moved past his century and with 5 overs left, the home side needed 21 more runs.

9 were accrued from the next 2 overs as Lees found a useful ally in Luke Duneathy who fed the strike to the relentless and impressive Lees.

However, Duneathy was run out by a direct throw from Rymell at cover with 5 runs required but Lees was in no mood to yield and struck the winning boundary off Allison to seal the win that allowed Durham to leapfrog the Eagles at the top of the table.