Norwich Union League: Worcestershire v Durham at Worcester, 31 Jul 2001
Roy Bradley

Durham innings: Innings Break,
Worcestershire innings: Worcestershire won by 7 wickets ,


Worcestershire smashed the record for the highest total by a side batting second in a day-night league match by reaching 275 for 3 to beat Durham by seven wickets in an epic top-of-the-table clash.

The cricket was every bit as stirring as the fireworks sound-effects as the home side extended their lead to four points in front of a capacity crowd of 4,500.

Paul Pollard launched the six-an-over chase with 62 from 44 balls, and when the opener pulled a catch to square leg, Graeme Hick and Vikram Solanki made their quality count in a partnership of 160.

Taking surprisingly few risks - both reached 50 with only five boundaries - they systematically carved into Durham's 274 for 7 by putting on 160 in 27 overs before Hick was bowled by Danny Law for 87.

But Solanki stayed unbeaten with 91 as Worcestershire romped home with 16 balls to spare.

It was a case of matching everything Durham did - and better. To make the achievement all the more meritorious, they secured a fourth successive league win despite losing fast bowler Kabir Ali after he had bowled only three overs.

The teenager is expected to be out for a month after dislocating his right shoulder when sprawling at deep mid-wicket in a vain attempt to cut off one of Nicky Peng's 19 fours in a blazing 121 from 113 balls for Durham.

The England A batsman also hit a six after launching the first innings in a stand of 102 in 16 overs with Andrew Pratt, but Durham were unable to kick on when Peng hoisted a catch to long on off Andy Bichel.

Alamgir Sheriyar and Bichel shared six wickets as battling Worcestershire gave their batsmen a chance of conjuring up a spectacular result.


A good pitch, a fast outfield and an imperious century by Durham opener Nicky Peng made this a perfect farewell to Roy McLaren in his last match after 18 years as head groundsman at New Road.

Peng scored 121 from 113 balls and shared in an opening stand of 102 in 16 overs with Andrew Pratt as Durham took a grip on the top-of-the-table clash by reaching 274 for 7.

The advantage of batting first in a day-night game was brilliantly exploited with 56 runs in fours or sixes before the first pair hit anything other than a boundary.

Pratt eventually tickled a catch off Graeme Hick but Worcestershire’s relief was quickly quelled when Kabir Ali sustained a suspected dislocation of his right shoulder in a fielding mishap.

Peng, who hit 19 fours and a six, hoisted a catch to long on in a second spell by Andy Bichel, and his departure at 196 for 3 in the 30th over opened the door for Alamgir Sheriyar to take three wickets in a partial recovery by Worcestershire.

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Date-stamped : 31 Jul2001 - 22:34