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Ryan Higgins held his nerve to deny Kent an inspirational win in their last game. Kent had a good Royal One Day Cup until they met Hampshire in the final. Hampshire won the match by 61 runs and consequently the trophy. The two teams are set to face each other once again in Vitality T20 Blast on 13 July at St Lawrence Cricket Ground, Canterbury. Hampshire have already lost one match and will be meeting Sussex prior to this match. Kent are sitting right behind Sussex and a win for them will probably take them to the spot, if other results go their way, thereby sinking Hampshire to the bottom of the table.
The return of Ben Stokes bolstered Durham's batting lineup as he played a brilliant knock in their opening game albeit in vain. However, his unavailability due to England's series against India could hamper Durham's march. After a disappointing performance in the first game, Durham bounced back with a superb performance to post an unanticipated win against Leicestershire.
Batting first, Durham scored 153 for 7 at the end of 20 overs. It was barely a competitive score let alone imposing. They were 48 for 1 after powerplay, but a poor display of batting from their middle order resulted in pressure and consequently loss of wickets. Tom Latham and Paul Collingwood scored 27 and 36 respectively but went back into the hut before accelerating. Ryan Pringle and Will Smith failed to build on and got out cheaply leaving Durham struggling at 62 for 4 after 9. Ryan Davies and Stuart Poynter played useful hands down the order which ultimately was the difference between a win and a loss.
Defending such a modest total looked improbable at the half-way stage and this belief was further strengthened by Leicestershire's start. At one time, Leics were 83 for 2 with around 8 overs to spare and chase looking well and truly in control. The wickets of Neil Dexter and Colin Ackermann, courtesy Imran Tahir, spun the game on its head with Durham looking well ahead. Durham bowlers then strangled Leics brilliantly to restrict them to just 120. Apart from Tahir's 4 for 14, James Weighell and Nathan Rimmington played vital roles as they picked a couple of wickets away without leaking too many runs.
TWM Latham, Graham Clark, Will Smith, PD Collingwood, Ryan Davies, Stuart Poynter, Liam Trevaskis, Nathan Rimmington, James Weighell, Chris Rushworth, Imran Tahir.
After a convincing victory against the same team they're going to face tomorrow, Durham, Yorkshire slumped to a defeat in their second match. Despite Gary Balance's classy 79, Yorkshire could total only 157 in their 20 overs. Harry Brooks and Jonathan Tattersall did contribute a little to the total, but it wasn't really enough considering the batting beauty the pitch was.
The total of 157 was made to look even smaller when Ed Pollock smashed Matthew Fisher for 26 runs in the first over. It was just a formality after that and the Bears cruised to the target with eight wickets to spare. Barring Tim Bresnan, who went for just 14 in his three, no bowler was able to keep the Bears from cruising.
With decent batting lineup including the likes of Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance, and Kohler-Cadmore, Yorkshire will be a tough team to bowl to on batting paradise of Chester-le-Street. If their batsmen can repeat what they did in their first match of the season, they can certainly make life difficult for Durham.
Adam Lyth, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Harry Brook, GS Ballance, Jonathan Tattersall, Jack Leaning, TT Bresnan, Matthew Fisher, Azeem Rafiq, SA Patterson, Jack Brooks.
With two points in two matches, both teams are in identical situations, as far as points table is concerned. While a win won't have much impact on their standings, it will be important nonetheless. Yorkshire just had a bad day against Birmingham Bears and will be looking to bounce back against familiar opponents in Durham. They were ruthless against them in the last match we expect them to register yet another victory against them.
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