NatWest T20 Blast: Durham beat Leicestershire in seven-over thriller
Luke Ronchi's joint-third fastest domestic T20 fifty in vain
Last Updated: 01/08/17 5:08pm
North Group's last-placed Durham completed their first win of the NatWest T20 Blast in dramatic style at the expense of Leicestershire in a match shortened by rain to seven overs a side at Leicester's Fischer County Ground.
A stunning innings of 63 not out from 21 balls from opener Luke Ronchi - featuring 10 fours and two sixes - should have put the Foxes in an impregnable position as they posted a score of 88-2, batting first.
The New Zealander reached his fifty off just 16 deliveries, equalling the third fastest half-century in domestic T20 cricket, sitting behind only Somerset's Marcus Trescothick (13 balls) and Yorkshire's Gerard Brophy (14).
Durham quickly lost two wickets in their reply, but captain Paul Coughlin (38no off 18) and the experienced Paul Collingwood (34 of 18) added 76 runs for the third wicket, from just 33 balls.
Both were dropped, Coughlin a skier by Gavin Griffiths at point, and Collingwood a chest-high caught and bowled chance to Cameron Delport.
And although Collingwood and Jack Burnham were run out off successive deliveries in the final over, Coughlin sliced the penultimate delivery to the third man boundary to complete a remarkable win for Durham.
The experienced Australian carried his side's innings of 174-5 in a match reduced to 19 overs per side, smashing six sixes and seven fours in a masterful demonstration of clean hitting that saw him finish unbeaten on 101, off 58 balls.
For Hampshire, spinners Mason Crane (1-17) and Liam Dawson (1-24) impressed during their respective three-over and four-over spells.
In reply, the visitors raced to 121-3 off 11.4 overs, with openers James Vince (42) and Rilee Rossouw (46no) putting together a stand of 85 in eight overs.
Vince eventually perished when inside-edging off Thisara Perera (1-19) behind, while Matt Taylor (2-29) gave Gloucestershire greater hope by pinning Michael Carberry lbw for 20 and dismissing George Bailey for a duck in the 11th over.
But, with the visitors only needing to be on 97 under DLS when heavy rain put an end to proceedings, Hampshire earned the win that sees them leapfrog their opponents in the tightly congested South Group.
They appeared to have a good chance of beating Middlesex when they restricted the visitors to 136-6 from 17.4 overs, but rain brought an early end to both the innings and the match - the Sharks' third no-result of the season.
Earlier, Middlesex captain Brendon McCullum had promised something special when he hooked David Wiese over square-leg for six and slashed his next delivery over point for another maximum, but soon after Chris Jordan had the New Zealander caught behind for a 15-ball 26.
Jofra Archer then struck twice in three balls, first having John Simpson caught at mid-off by Laurie Evans before dismissing England one-day captain, Eoin Morgan.
James Franklin looked in the mood to rescue the Middlesex innings when he lofted Danny Briggs over mid-on for six but when he was caught at backward-point next ball, it left the visitors struggling at 81-5 in the 13th over.
The players left the field because of rain for a short time in the 15th but, after the break, a stand of 53 in five overs between George Scott (38no) and Ryan Higgins (31) lifted Middlesex to a competitive 136-6 after 17.4 overs.
But the rain fell again and this time it would not relent.
Meanwhile, rain also forced four further games to be abandoned, without a ball being bowled - Lancashire, Derbyshire, Birmingham and Glamorgan sharing points with Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Yorkshire and Surrey, respectively.