After two changes of opponents, Durham belatedly claimed their place at the Twenty20 Cup finals day by seeing off Glamorgan last night. The Dynamos had expected to play Yorkshire in the quarter-finals a fortnight ago, but the White Rose county were eliminated after fielding an ineligible player, opening the way for Glamorgan.
The Welsh side initially seemed intent on making the most of their reprieve and booking their place in Saturday's finale to the competition. But Durham overcame a sluggish start to post 163 for 8, Will Smith hitting 51, which was enough for them to win by 44 runs.
There was slight controversy at the toss as the Glamorgan captain David Hemp appeared to see the coin land before calling. He put Durham in and for most of the hosts' innings it looked a smart move. But the Dragons' decision not to play Jason Gillespie may have cost them as they conceded 55 from the final four overs. Gillespie was left out due to fears that his involvement with the Indian Cricket League might deny the Dragons the chance to play in the £2.5m Champions League, if they made the final.
It was not until Smith and Dale Benkenstein put on 53 for the fifth wicket that Durham began to build any momentum. They lost Phil Mustard in the second over and Paul Collingwood soon followed as he was trapped leg before by David Harrison.
When Michael di Venuto chipped back to Robert Croft, Durham were toiling at 49 for 4. Smith began the revival when clubbing Dean Cosker for six on his way to a 37-ball half-century. Gareth Breese, Shaun Pollock and Liam Plunkett all helped Durham to a respectable total.
Glamorgan toiled from the first ball of their reply as Plunkett removed Richard Grant's off-stump and Hemp edged behind to Mustard in the same over. Plunkett claimed his third wicket as Smith took a low catch to remove Mike Powell. Dalrymple chipped Collingwood to Benkenstein, and Steve Harmison ended Mark Wallace's attempts to save his side, bowling him for 26.