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Phillips keeps head in drive for victory

By Geoffrey Dean at Taunton

26 July 1998

Durham (218-5) bt Somerset (212) by 6 runs

DURHAM'S bowlers managed to keep their heads under pressure to give their side their first AXA League victory since May 10. Nicky Phillips, with the best Sunday figures of his career, four for 24, was their match-winner in a see-saw finish in dreadful light.

With 13 needed off seven balls, Graham Rose hammered Phillips' last delivery for a straight six, but off the first ball of the final over, John Wood had Andy Caddick lbw with a full toss. Last man Steffan Jones was then bowled neck and crop by Wood.

Several Durham players made significant contributions, most notably Nick Speak, after he had run out David Boon. His unbeaten 90 off 111, an AXA League best for Durham, formed the innings' ballast while Paul Collingwood, with 48 off 67 balls, and Mike Foster, with 21 off 15, provided the brawn as 50 came off the final five overs.

Somerset made a steady start, reaching 40 without loss from 10 overs, before Mark Saggers, with a wicket in each of his first three overs, reduced them to 64 for three in the 15th.

But Piran Holloway, striking the ball well from the start of his innings, wrested back the advantage with a 65-ball fifty.

Cleverly, Boon now brought on Phillips for just one over. Holloway, after an ill-considered charge down the wicket, was stumped by several feet.

With 77 wanted from the last 10 overs, it was anybody's game before Pakistan's Mushtaq Ahmed, improvising against almost every ball, carved 41 from 33 deliveries.

The requirement became 40 off the last five overs, but crucially, three wickets fell in four balls as Somerset lost their heads.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
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Date-stamped : 27 Jul1998 - 06:17