Mark Stoneman hails opening partnership with Phil Mustard after record stand at Somerset

Durham's Mark Stoneman
Durham's Mark Stoneman

Durham captain Mark Stoneman was delighted with his partnership with Phil Mustard after the duo’s record-breaking opening stand helped see off Somerset.

A partnership of 211 between the two openers saw holders Durham maintain their winning start in the Royal London Cup.

Having been set a target of 328, the visitors won with seven wickets and 21 balls in hand, courtesy of Stoneman’s 100-ball century and 98 from wicketkeeper Mustard. It was not only a second successive defeat in Group A, for Somerset, but an eighth defeat in their last 10 completed games, in all competitions.

Stoneman said; “It was a very good surface and I think that was one of the bonuses of batting second – we knew what we had to get and we could bat on a good wicket.

“In our history of coming here, we have set first and found it very difficult to defend. It was fantastic to bat on there and great to have myself and Phil in some form.

“We have got contrasting styles and that can be very effective in terms of messing up the bowlers’ plans.

“It’s been a brilliant start for us. That’s nine wins in a row in white ball cricket, including last summer, and hopefully we can continue that.”

Somerset had set an imposing target initially. Peter Trego and Tom Cooper, added 90 for the third wicket in 17 overs before Trego, who reached his 50 off 52 balls, with seven fours and a six, holed out to Ryan Pringle off John Hastings at 159-3.

Although James Hildreth was brillianty caught in the slips by Scott Borthwick, Cooper continued to dominate the visiting attack for whom Hastings was the pick. The 28-year-old hit 12 fours in passing three figures for the first time since arriving in the west country.

With Craig Overton weighing in with 49 from just 25 deliveries, Somerset posted 327-8 in their 50 overs. Hastings took 5-41 off his 10 overs while Usman Arshad, who was struck for four sixes by Overton in the space of two overs, finished with 3-80.

Durham wasted little time in establishing themselves with the bat. Stoneman, who struck seven fours and two sixes in reaching 50 off 30 balls, led the way alongsid Mustard. The pair passed 50 off the penultimate ball of the seventh over and brought up their 100-run partnership in the 14th.

In the end, Mustard chanced his arm once too often and was caught at short third man, by Hildreth, off Craig Overton for 98. It was the highest stand by a Durham pair against county opposition in one day cricket.

By the time Stoneman posted his century, from 100 balls, Durham were within sight of victory. Borthwick continued where Mustard left off and Somerset, despite the efforts of the Overton twins, and spinner Jack Leach, had no answer.

Stoneman eventually perished, caught by Hose off Leach for 112, and Graham Clark miscued a pull to Jamie Overton off Lewis Gregory for 12. Still, Borthwick took just 36 balls to register his half century and with Paul Collingwood at his side, duly guided Durham to victory in the 47th over. Borthwick finished unbeaten on 66.