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Friends Life t20: Ireland effort gets Leicestershire off mark

Anthony Ireland: Removed danger men with successive balls

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Anthony Ireland inspired Leicestershire to an 11-run victory over Durham and a first in this season's Friends Life t20.

The Zimbabwe seamer's best t20 figures of 4-22 restricted the visitors to 165 all out after Leicestershire had posted 176-5 from their 20 overs.

Greg Smith and Joe Burns did the damage with the bat, sharing 81 for the second wicket and each passing 50 for the first time in the game's shortest form.

A round 50 of Smith's 67 came in boundaries while Burns cleared the rope four times in his unbeaten 52-ball 81.

Leicestershire struck two quick blows with the ball, removing Mark Stoneman and Steve Borthwick with 17 scored, but a fourth-wicket stand of 79 between Phil Mustard (69) and Ben Stokes swung the game back towards Durham.

That was until four wickets fell with the score on 130, Ireland having Stokes and Mustard caught by Matthew Boyce off successive balls before Michael Richardson was run out and Ryan Pringle trapped by Shiv Thakor.

Durham were left needing 37 from the final two overs and, although Gareth Breese went down swinging having belted Thakor for 16 in three balls, it proved too tall an order.

Ireland returned to finish the job, ending Breese's cameo on 22 and taking his side above their visitors in the North Group.

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