Dynamos recover from early scare to record win
Durham Dynamos recovered from losing both openers for ducks to beat Derbyshire Phantoms by seven wickets and move two points clear at the top of the Twenty20 Cup North Division.
An unbroken stand of 93 between skipper Dale Benkenstein and Albie Morkel steered their side to a sixth victory after they had been wobbling at 31 for three chasing a revised target of 121 following an 85-minute stoppage for low sun.
But the fourth-wicket pair batted with calm authority to cross the finishing line with 16 balls to spare and rubber stamp Durham's place in the quarter-finals.
Morkel sealed victory in style by dispatching Nyan Doshi over the deep midwicket boundary to end with 54 from 34 balls while Benkenstein's 47 came from 41 balls.
Derbyshire accelerated after a slow start to reach 118 - 6 after the game was reduced to 18 overs with skipper Rikki Clarke and Dan Birch providing some much needed momentum in the last seven overs.
The Dynamos had restricted the Phantoms to 53 from from 11 overs with Shaun Pollock having Dominic Telo caught behind for 16 and Gareth Breese trapping Greg Smith lbw for 13 four balls after the restart.
But Clarke broke free by taking 17 from teenage leg-spinner Scott Borthwick's only over which included a big six over wide long on and two powerfully driven fours.
Although Breese bowled the dangerman Wavell Hinds in the next over, Birch greeted Ben Harmison by driving his first three balls for four in an over which cost 15.
Clarke pulled Steve Harmison for another six before he sliced his brother to deep cover after hitting 36 from 27 balls and both Birch and Jamie Pipe fell swinging at Liam Plunkett in the last over.
Durham's chase began badly when former Derbyshire batsman Michael Di Venuto chipped the third ball to mid off and Phil Mustard cut to point where Smith held a juggling catch.
Another diving catch by Wagg, this time at long on, sent back Will Smith for 19 in the fifth over with the total on 31 but Dale Benkenstein and Morkel put the Dynamos back on course to leave them needing 58 from the last nine overs.
They never looked like falling short and although Clarke switched his bowlers around, he could not prevent the batsmen finding gaps all around the wicket.
Morkel moved into overdrive in the 15th over when he drove Jon Clare over the long-on boundary and crashed the next ball to long-off for another four.
With seven needed from the last three overs, the crowd were packing away when Morkel drove Doshi for four before lifting the spinner for his second six to complete another good night's work for Durham.