Durham needed a mere 166 runs to win the championship and they cruised past the finish line © Getty Images
Durham needed a mere 166 runs to win the championship and they cruised past the finish line © Getty Images

London: Sep 21, 2014

West Indies all-rounder Gareth Breese enjoyed a fairytale finish to his career with Durham as the north-east side won a tense English county One-Day Cup final against Warwickshire at Lord’s on Saturday. Durham only needed 166 to win after dismissing Warwickshire for 165.

But, with conditions remaining overcast throughout the day at ‘headquarters’, they lost seven batsmen in the process before Breese hit the winning runs in a three-wicket victory. Breese, who played one Test for the West Indies back in 2002, was playing his final match for Durham after more than a decade at the Riverside.

And he marked it in style by taking three for 30 with his off-breaks, holding a couple of catches and then finishing on 15 not out as Durham triumphed with nearly 10 overs to spare.

Warwickshire had already won English county cricket’s Twenty20 Blast competition this season but, without the injured Ian Bell and with fellow England batsman Jonathan Trott managing just two, they never had quite enough runs to play with despite skipper Varun Chopra leading from the front at the top of the order with 64.

That they came as close as they did to what would have been a quite remarkable victory owed much to New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel’s return of four for 25.

“We’ve had a fantastic team performance (all season)… and today was no different,” the 38-year-old Breese, who edged the winning four past the slip cordon, told Sky Sports.

“It’s not all about me. It’s about all the guys up there on the balcony, who bowled fantastically well today and gritted it out with the bat,” the Jamaican insisted “To come out on top is a fantastic effort from the team.” As for his own cricket future, he added: “We’ll see what opportunities come up. But if none do, I’ve gone out on a high.”

Durham captain and opener Mark Stoneman laid the platform for the run-chase with 52 but then saw too many wickets fall for comfort.

“It got a little bit nervy towards the end there,” he said. “There was a bit in it for the seamers, and a lot of quality throughout their team — so we knew it was going to be hard work. But thankfully strength and depth in our line-up got us over the line in the end.”