Durham go down to Worcestershire in the Royal London One-Day Cup

Worcestershire Rapids' Ben Cox
©Reuters
 

Durham suffered their first defeat of the campaign in the Royal London One-Day Cup as Ross Whiteley and Ben Cox guided Worcestershire Rapids to a four wicket success under the Duckworth-Lewis Method at Blackfinch New Road.

The visitors had won their opening two games against Northamptonshire Steelbacks and Leicestershire Foxes – a contrast to their two setbacks in the Specsavers County Championship.

But Cox and Whiteley tipped a see-saw contest in favour of the Rapids with a half century stand for the sixth wicket before victory was completed with 10 balls to spare.

It enabled Worcestershire to bounce back from the weekend defeat to the Foxes and move level on points with Durham.

Cox, so often the cool head in a crisis, ended unbeaten on 31 from 26 balls.

Durham were restricted to 114-4 in 27.2 overs before the heavens opened after being put into bat despite Alex Lees scoring his first List A half century for the County.

The Rapids were eventually set a 152 target in 24 overs via the Duckworth-Lewis Method after a delay of more than four hours.

Hamish Rutherford and Riki Wessels quickly established a position of command for the home side as the half century came up in only 4.5 overs.

Rutherford had become the second Worcestershire player to score centuries on his County Championship and List A debut and he continued in the same vein.

He deposited Matt Salisbury and Matt Potts for six on his way to 33 from 22 balls before nicking a widish delivery from Ben Raine through to keeper Cameron Bancroft.

Wessels was also full of attacking intent in making 29 until he was caught off a skier by Bancroft running back towards the boundary from a Salisbury delivery.

Mitchell (0) dragged a slower delivery from Brydon Carse onto his stumps for a second successive duck in the competition at 71-3 in the 10th over.

Carse struck again in his next over as Tom Fell (7) went for a pull and top-edged a simple catch to Graham Clark at mid on.

When Brett D’Oliveira (6) was caught behind off Salisbury, Worcestershire had lost four wickets for 10 runs in the space of five overs.

But Whiteley (26) and Cox turned the game back in the Rapids favour by adding 51 in seven overs before the former provided Bancroft with another catch, this time off Raine.

Cox and Ed Barnard (12 not out) saw the Rapids over the finishing line.

Durham had been put into bat and new ball bowler Charlie Morris made the first breakthrough in his third over as Scott Steel (14) went for a drive and was bowled by a delivery which came back sharply.

Lees, who moved to Durham on a three year contract from Yorkshire after an initial loan spell last summer, had been dismissed for four and six in Durham’s opening two One-Day Cup games

He looked in good form and cover-drove Morris for successive boundaries.

But Clark (10) paid the penalty for a poor shot as he pulled a short delivery from Josh Tongue straight to Whiteley at deep square leg.

Durham skipper Bancroft went into the game on the back of unbeaten centuries in the competition – 151 versus Northamptonshire and 118 against Leicestershire.

He moved confidently onto 20 but the introduction of Mitchell into the attack led to his downfall.

The Australian batsman drove loosely and Morris held onto the chance at short third man with the total 78-3.

Lees completed his half century off 75 deliveries with four boundaries.

But Harte (14), making his first One-Day Cup appearance of the campaign, fell shortly before an elongated long break.

He took a stride out of his crease before driving at D’Oliveira and was stumped by Cox.

Only two more runs were added before the players were forced off by driving rain.

Ben Cox

 Worcestershire wicket-keeper Ben Cox, who hit an unbeaten 31, said: “It is always difficult to work out where you are in the game in rain-affected matches.

 “But to get the win after the loss at Leicester, to wrestle the momentum back, especially with the way this tournament is condensed, is important.

 “Riki (Wessels) and Hamish (Rutherford) got us off to a flier there but if we are honest, we need to take responsibility and make sure we don’t get into a situation where it is nervy at the end.

 “We did something similar at Durham last season and messed up on the Duckworth-Lewis. It was important we shook that one off and got over the line.

 “Myself and Rosco (Whiteley) put on a nice little partnership there. As long as we took it deep, we knew we were going to be in the game because we scored quick enough and it worked out in our favour.”

 

Alex Lees 

 Alex Lees, who top-scored for Durham with a half century, said: “With rain around and being on the wrong end of the toss, it was quite difficult for me to pace the innings with us losing regular wickets.

 “As soon as you lose wickets and there is rain around, it is obviously quite difficult to be on the right side of Duckworth-Lewis so it was disappointing.

 “The elements put us on the back foot today but that is something you can’t control.

 “In the end we gave ourselves a sniff at 80-5 but as a chasing team, you would have been very disappointed not to get 150.

 “We are disappointed but we’ve won the first two games and we move onto Warwickshire now and hopefully we can bounce back.”