Somerset sink brave Durham
Plunkett heroics not quite enough for home side to get over the line
Last Updated: 23/07/08 11:19pm
Trescothick: Brilliant hundred
NatWest Pro40 - Division One
Somerset Sabres 286-8 (M E Trescothick 124, J L Langer 63) v Durham Dynamos 268 (L E Plunkett 72, D M Benkenstein 58, C M Willoughby 4-33)
Somerset beat Durham by 18 runs
Somerset survived a serious late scare to open their Pro40 account with a tense 18-run win over Durham at The Riverside.
The visitors looked to be well on course for a comfortable victory when they had their opponents 66-6 chasing a total of 286-8 in the Division One clash.
Marcus Trescothick reminded England fans just what they are missing out on with a terrific 124 off 97 balls for the Sabres before team-mate Charl Willoughby claimed 4-33 with the new ball.
However, the Dynamos - fresh from clinching a place in the Twenty20 finals day 24 hours earlier - came close to pulling off a remarkable victory thanks to Liam Plunkett.
With the game seemingly out of reach, the England seamer came in at number nine and smashed six fours and three sixes to make 73 from just 42 deliveries.
He shared a record stand of 81 for the last wicket with Steve Harmison (25 not out) only to be unluckily run out with Durham needing 19 off the final two overs.
Somerset were relieved to have finally put paid to the partnership having dominated the match from the moment skipper Justin Langer had won the toss and opted to bat first.
Fresh from hitting 91 in a losing cause against Sussex on Sunday, Trescothick blasted his way to the highest individual score seen in a 40-over match at Chester-le-Street.
The left-hander hammered 16 fours and two sixes, both off spinner Gareth Breese, to lay the platform for a massive total before being run out after a mix-up with Omari Banks.
Langer contributed 63 in a second-wicket stand of 165 that was eventually ended when Paul Collingwood had the Australian caught at mid-wicket.
England's one-day captain also dismissed Peter Trego (19) and Arul Suppiah (23) to finish as the pick of the bowling attack with figures of 3-52, although he failed to contribute with the bat, lofting Willoughby straight to mid-off.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul followed next ball, chopping his first delivery down onto middle stump and although Dale Benkenstein made 58, it wasn't until Plunkett pummelled the bowlers that the Dynamos looked in with a chance.