Dynamos too powerful for Dragons
Glamorgan's hopes of capitalising on their controversial Twenty20 lifeline were crushed by Durham Dynamos at Chester-Le-Street.
After the Dragons were originally knocked out of the tournament at the group stages, the Welsh county were reprieved last week and reinstated after Yorkshire lost their last eight place for fielding an ineligible player, Azeem Rafiq, in the group stages against Notts.
But in yesterday's rearranged quarter-final at the Riverside, Glamorgan suffered a 44-run defeat as they failed to cope against a star-studded Durham line-up, who had nine internationals in their side, which included five overseas performers.
As well as England quartet Paul Collingwood, Steve Harmison, Phil Mustard and Liam Plunkett, they boasted West Indies duo Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Gareth Breese, South African pair Shaun Pollock and Dale Benkenstein and Australian Michael di Venuto.
In contrast, Glamorgan fielded no overseas players with the controversial omission of Australian seamer Jason Gillespie, a decision described as extraordinary by former England captain Nasser Hussain.
The Dragons had lost Herschelle Gibbs from the group stages after the South African had scored 281 runs in six innings.
They had already registered Gillespie as their overseas player before they learned of their quarter-final reprieve, but chose not to select the Australian paceman last night because he had played in the rebel Indian Cricket League earlier this season.
The Welsh county's thinking was based on recent comments from Lalit Modi, the vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, that any team qualifying for the Champions League and a chance of £2.5m prize money would be disqualified if they featured players who had taken part in the ICL.
Whether Gillespie's inclusion would have changed events yesterday is now down to conjecture but his economic bowling or Gibbs' prolific batting was sorely missed.
But for all the talk of overseas stars, ironically it was one of Durham's two uncapped players, Will Smith who starred for the Men in Black.
Smith top-scored with 51 in the Dynamos total of 163 for eight, while Jamie Dalrymple (32) and Mark Wallace (26) the main contributors in Glamorgan's reply of 119 all out.
After captain David Hemp won the toss and decided to field, his bowlers had Durham struggling at 49 for four, but the hosts still managed to score 100 runs in their final 10 overs and 47 in the final 18 balls.
Teenager James Harris finished with three wickets but conceded 22 runs from the final over, which might have been bowled by Gillespie had the Australian been playing.
The 18-year-old earlier celebrated a dream start when he bowled Mustard for seven with David Harrison removing another dangermen in the opening three overs by trapping Collingwood lbw for three.
Chaunderpaul was the next star to fall to Harris when he chipped the ball straight to Hemp at mid-on for seven, as Durham were left struggling on 26 for three.
That became 49 for four when Di Venuto was dismissed with a wonderful caught and bowled effort by Robert Croft for 20.
Four overs of spin from Croft and Dean Cosker yielded only 19 runs with Durham reaching 63 after 10 overs.
Smith and Benkenstein put on 52 for the fifth wicket before the latter clubbed the ball straight to Tom Maynard at long-off.
Smith, who was fortunate to survive a close lbw appeal from Wharf, reached his 50 two balls later before being brilliantly ran out by Cosker.
Hemp chose to keep Wharf on which proved an expensive decision costing 19 runs with Breese taking a liking to the Glamorgan paceman.
The Durham spinner's innings of 20 off nine balls ended in the next over when Maynard took his second catch, this time off Dalrymple's bowling.
Harris was chosen to bowl the expensive final over with the Pontarddulais paceman struck for 10 off two balls by Pollock, before the Glamorgan teenager gained his revenge with a slower ball that dismissed the South African.
But Plunkett piled on the misery with 10 runs of the final two balls and the final total was 45 runs more than the Twenty20 average at Chester-Le-Street this season.
That statistic was to prove crucial.
Plunkett ensured the Glamorgan reply started disastrously when he bowled Richard Grant first ball and also dismissed captain Hemp in the opening over.
Mike Powell (7) was Plunkett's third victim when he drove a ball straight to Smith at cover, while Maynard (9) was unluckily run out backing up by the stray foot of the bowling Steve Harmison.
This left Glamorgan reeling at 55 for four after 10 overs but Wallace briefly broke the Durham stranglehold with three successive fours off Breese and a six off Collingwood, who gained his revenge by snaring Dalrymple, who holed out to Benkenstein at mid-off.
The Glamorgan wicket-keeper was crucially dismissed by Steve Harmison, who after a couple of 90mph deliveries, bowled Wallace with a clever slower delivery.
Late desperation saw Wharf run out and Harrison holing out to Chanderpaul at long-on from a Collingwood delivery.
And Pollock wrapped up the innings with 14 balls to spare, when he had Harris and Cosker caught in the 18th over by Chanderpaul and Harmison respectively, with Croft stranded on 17 not out.