Morkel fires Dynamos to victory
Twenty20 specialist Albie Morkel fired Durham to a thrilling victory over previously unbeaten Lancashire at Old Trafford.
Morkel smashed five sixes in the space of three overs to end unbeaten on 45 from 19 balls as the Dynamos overcame a six-run penalty for bowling their overs too slowly to take over at the top of the North Division.
Lancashire seemed to be well in control after posting a total of 180 for six thanks to half-centuries from Mal Loye and Stuart Law, especially when the dismissed Phil Mustard for 61 to reduce Durham to 127 for four in the 16th over.
The visitors needed 50 more to win with only 20 balls remaining but thanks to Morkel's amazing onslaught, they ended up clinching victory with six balls to spare, as the first ball of the 20th over from Sajid Mahmood was a wide.
Morkel took a few balls to get going before launching Kyle Hogg for his first two sixes off the last two balls of the 17th over.
He added two more in the next over from Francois Du Plessis, and a fifth from Dominic Cork in the 19th, with Shaun Pollock also clearing the ropes.
Earlier Loye had followed the example of Kevin Pietersen by switch-hitting a six off Durham spinner Gareth Breese on his way to 53 from 37 balls, his best score of the season.
He played the supporting role in a second-wicket stand off 77 with Law, who stroked eight boundaries in his 34-ball half-century before being stumped off Breese.
Steven Croft and Gareth Cross also chipped in late in the innings but Lancashire were pegged back by Shaun Borthwick, and 18-year-old leg spinner from Sunderland who took three for 23 on his first team debut, with his wickets including Loye for 53.
Mustard and Michael Di Venuto gave Durham's reply and excellent start by putting on 42 inside five overs.
But Cork broke their stand when he had Di Venuto caught at midwicket and although Mustard kept up the rate with a 34-ball half-century, the Dynamos seemed to have lost momentum against some accurate overs from Du Plessis and Hogg.
However, that was reckoning without Morkel, one of the stars of last Autumn's ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa.