Carter is the architect of Durham's demise

Durham 72 Warwickshire 73-3 <i>Warwickshire win by 7 wkts</i>
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The Independent Online

National League cricket must seem a perverse game sometimes to those unfamiliar with its fluctuating wiles. Durham recorded their highest ever first-class score, 645 for 6 against Middlesex at Lord's last weekend; yesterday they were dismissed for 72, their lowest total in limited-overs cricket.

National League cricket must seem a perverse game sometimes to those unfamiliar with its fluctuating wiles. Durham recorded their highest ever first-class score, 645 for 6 against Middlesex at Lord's last weekend; yesterday they were dismissed for 72, their lowest total in limited-overs cricket.

It is, of course, the nature of cricket that one day's form is another match's irrelevance and the players who had prospered on a flat wicket at Lord's looked hopelessly bankrupt here. Not that there was anything in the pitch that could be held responsible. Against good bowling, Durham simply played badly.

Warwickshire's victory, which keeps them top of the First Division of the Norwich Union League with three wins from three matches, was so easy they required only 67 balls to score the 73 runs needed after Durham had been dismissed in a mere 21.2 overs. When the contest ended at 3.51pm spectators might have complained of poor value for money had they not paid only 50p per head – a Golden Jubilee offer designed to represent the 1952 ground admission price.

Neil Carter, Warwickshire's South African-born left-arm seam and swing bowler, will remember the occasion with enthusiasm, having captured five wickets for 31 runs, a personal best in one-day cricket, and scored 24 runs from only nine deliveries opening the batting.

He inflicted particular punishment on Nicholas Hatch,who is in his second season with Durham. Hatch, 6ft 7in tall, saw his first ball to Carter go soaring over midwicket for six to start a scoring sequence for the over, which read: six, six, four, dot, six, one.

Bizarrely, Hatch's second over, in which Dominic Ostler was caught behind, was a wicket maiden. By then, Carter had been caught at long leg attempting another six, off Neil Killeen, in an over that also claimed Nick Knight, held in a juggle by Martin Love at second slip.

All three wickets fell on 28 in the space of eight balls, suggesting Durham's cause might not be hopeless after all. However, Shaun Pollock, with 29 off 20 balls, saw to it with young Jamie Troughton's help that there were no further alarms.

Durham, having chosen to bat, were 3 for 3 by the second over after Pollock had trapped Nicky Peng half-forward and Carter had taken the first two of his five. Jonathan Lewis and Andrew Pratt advanced the total beyond the embarrassing depths of Middlesex's 23 at Leeds in 1974, but when Danny Law, on his first competitive outing of the season, was run out without facing a ball at 44 for 6, Durham's ignominious fate was effectively irreversible.

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