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Friends Provident Trophy final



BBC Sport looks at how Durham reached the final of the Friends Provident Trophy, where they will meet Hampshire at Lord's on 18 August.

The 18 first-class counties, plus Scotland and Ireland, were divided into North and South Conferences, with each team playing every other team in each conference once.

In a change from the 2006 format, a semi-final stage was introduced - while another innovation, trialled in this competition, saw players given the right to refer decisions to the TV umpire.

NORTH CONFERENCE MATCHES

Leicestershire
22 April: Beat Leicestershire by five wickets
On the opening day of the renamed competition, Durham became the first county to register a win. Callum Thorp took 4-30 as the Foxes were bowled out for 138, while keeper Phil Mustard made 66 in reply after opening for Durham.

Derbyshire
29 April: Lost to Derbyshire by four wickets
Durham slumped to 90-5, eventually reaching 212-9 from their 50 overs, but were undone by their former batsman Simon Katich, now captain of Derbyshire, who led his new side to victory with 81.

Lancashire
7 May: Beat Lancashire by 57 runs
With both sides fortified by their England internationals, Paul Collingwood and Liam Plunkett came out on top for Durham, while Steve Harmison also chipped in with two wickets as the Red Rose county fell well short of their target.

Northamptonshire
20 May: Beat Northamptonshire by four wickets
Phil Mustard (108) and Dale Benkenstein (97 not out) put on 163 as Durham chased 251 to win, but the winning runs were hit by the evergreen Ottis Gibson, who held his nerve to hit the last ball of the match for four.

Scottish Saltires
28 May: Beat Scotland by five wickets
More heroics from Gibson against a Saltires side who had just beaten Lancashire. Having taken 3-45, 38-year-old Gibson swept Majid Haq for six with six overs left.

Worcestershire
1 June: Beat Worcestershire by 143 runs
New Zealand star Scott Styris's debut was overshadowed as Will Smith hit 103 and captain Benkenstein smashed 94 not out off 66 balls before Gareth Breese took 5-49 to send Durham top of the North Conference table.

Yorkshire
3 June: Beat Yorkshire by 53 runs
Two days later, Durham all but ended neighbours Yorkshire's semi-final hopes as Kiwi Styris made 98 off 85 balls, while Gibson took the first three wickets - including England captain Michael Vaughan - as they romped home at Headingley.

Nottinghamshire
10 June: Beat Nottinghamshire by 1 wicket
Durham booked their semi-final place with a narrow victory. When last man Neil Killeen strode to the wicket as last man, 21 runs were needed off four overs, but Breese hit James Harris for successive fours to seal the win.

Warwickshire
13 June: Lost to Warwickshire by 39 runs (D/L method)
A rain-affected match at Edgbaston saw Messrs Duckworth and Lewis called in after Jonathan Trott and Tim Ambrose hit centuries for the Bears, but Durham were always behind the D/L par score before rain curtailed their final group game.

Friends Provident Trophy: North Conference
   
P
W
L
T
N/R
R/R
Pts
1 Durham 9 7 2 0 0 0.87 14.0
2 Warwickshire 9 6 1 0 2 0.71 14.0
3 Nottinghamshire 9 6 2 0 1 0.81 13.0
4 Worcestershire 9 4 3 0 2 0.21 10.0
5 Yorkshire 9 4 3 0 2 0.09 10.0
6 Leicestershire 9 4 3 0 2 -0.31 10.0
7 Lancashire 9 3 5 0 1 -0.63 7.0
8 Derbyshire 9 2 6 0 1 -0.25 5.0
9 Northamptonshire 9 1 6 0 2 -0.73 4.0
10 Scotland 9 1 7 0 1 -1.05 3.0

SEMI-FINALS

20 June: Beat Essex by three wickets

Liam Plunkett (right) is congratulated after winning the semi-final for Durham
Plunkett (right) took the plaudits after success with bat and ball
Just a week after the final group games, Durham hosted South Conference runners-up Essex in an extraordinary low-scoring game at the Riverside which was all over by mid-afternoon.

England's Liam Plunkett took 4-15 and was supported well by Killeen (3-9) and Gibson (3-21) as Essex, traditionally a strong one-day side, were skittled for just 71 in 22.1 overs.

However, any thoughts of a comfortable win were cast aside when Durham slipped to 6-3, 17-4, 34-6 and 38-7 as Andy Bichel took 4-22.

But that man Plunkett then smashed 30 not out to guide his side to their first domestic one-day final. The other semi-final was little more than halfway through, but Hampshire eventually saw off Warwickshire.



SEE ALSO
County teams given referral right
10 Apr 07 |  Counties
Durham promoted in Championship
17 Sep 05 |  Counties


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