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Wood the hero
WATCHING Durham should come with a health warning. For the third match out of the last four it went down to the wire before they won by 16 runs with eight balls left.
Mark Wood – the new Ashington Express – emerged as the hero, taking the last two wickets in three balls to finish with five for 78.
Durham seemed to be coasting to defeat when Nottinghamshire, set a target of 366 in 90 overs, began with an opening stand of 168.
The hosts were still favourites at tea when, on 230 for three, they needed 136 off 35 overs.
Wood, previously without a wicket in the match, raised Durham’s hopes after the break when he struck with two yorker-length balls.
The first had Alex Hales lbw for 101, although the batsman clearly didn’t agree with umpire Steve Gale’s decision.
The second was speared through Chris Read’s defence to hit the off stump, making it 258 for five in the 62nd over.
Nottinghamshire seemed to decide at that point that they would consolidate and having scored at the required rate of four an over throughout the innings, they scored only 30 off the next 13.
The target was then 78 off 15 and Paul Franks, having faced 46 balls for 13, tried to lift Scott Borthwick over the top and failed to clear Callum Thorp, who was halfway back at mid-on.
Graeme White joined Mullaney and after going within a gnat’s whisker of being bowled by Borthwick on nought he flung his bat at a couple and earned two streaky fours.
But he then pulled the leg-spinner straight to Mark Stoneman at mid-wicket, bringing in big Ben Phillips. He hit Borthwick for three leg-side fours in an over and reached 22 off 17 balls before pulling Wood to Borthwick at mid-wicket.
With 19 needed, Wood began the penultimate over with a no-ball but then Luke Fletcher had a heave and was bowled. Two balls later Andy Carter was lbw and Notts were all out for 349.