Memorable hitting from Alex Lees, David Bedingham and Graham Clark propelled Durham to a record List A total of 427 for nine at Hove, setting up a 132-run win against Sussex Sharks – later bowled out for 295 – in the Metro Bank One-Day Cup.
A good-sized crowd of more than 2,000 saw Durham captain and former England Test opener Lees score a magnificent career-best 144, from 107 balls and featuring 19 fours.
But as impressive as Lees was, the truly spectacular strokeplay came from Bedingham, who struck seven sixes and six fours in a runaway 102 from just 54 balls, and Clark, whose 58-ball 72 included three sixes and seven fours.
Bedingham and Lees blitzed 194 for the second wicket in only 19 overs after Clark and Lees had opened up with 135 in the first 17 overs following Durham’s decision to bat.
Tom Haines scored 65 from 56 balls at the top of the innings to try and propel Sussex to Durham’s massive score. Tom Alsop was bowled in the second over of Sussex’s reply and returning Indian Test star Cheteshwar Pujara slapped a return catch to off spinner George Drissell.
James Coles also pulled a long hop from Liam Trevaskis to mid-wicket to go for 12 and Haines edged Jonathan Bushnell behind to leave the Sharks 113 for four in the 19th over. Fynn Hudson-Prentice continued his good form with the bat with 65 off 34 balls including two sixes and eight fours. Henry Crocombe helped himself to a career-high 47 before being last man out.
Lees struck a remarkable six fours in one seven-ball Crocombe over, while off spinner Jack Carson’s first three overs went for 41. To both Sussex bowlers’ credit, they stuck to their thankless tasks on a belting batting pitch to finish with 3 for 81 and 4 for 83 respectively.
Bedingham struck left-arm quick Bradley Currie for three sixes in an over, and two straight sixes off successive balls from slow left-armer Coles. His first six, perhaps the biggest hit of the lot off Carson, and he also swung Haines’ medium pace high over the same hospitality boxes.
Clark hit two legside sixes off Hudson-Prentice’s seam-up and a glorious extra cover four. He began his innings by hitting Steven Finn over the long leg ropes in the fourth over with the new ball. Finn later left the field, despite some boundary-edge treatment, and also did not bat after picking up a back injury.
There were 12 sixes and 37 fours in Durham’s total, which comfortably eclipsed their previous List A best of 405 for four, made against Kent at Beckenham in 2021.
At the 35-over mark they were 320 for one but Lees fell in the next over to spark a collapse of six wickets for 19 runs in 4.3 overs.
However, Bushnell and Michael Jones then added a sensibly-paced 65 in eight overs for the eighth wicket, and Durham’s score passed 400 in the end.
Jones drove Crocombe straight for six in a 29-ball 38 before falling to a catch in the deep off the same bowler in the penultimate over. Drissell managed one neatly cut four in a brief stay and Bushnell remained unbeaten on 37, from 31 balls.
Earlier, Crocombe had Clark caught at deep square leg and later added the wickets of Bedingham, taken at long off in the 37th over, while Carson sent back Lees, leg-before sweeping, Migael Pretorius, Ben McKinney and Trevaskis in quick succession.
When Hudson-Prentice bowled Paul Coughlin, at the start of the 41st over, Durham were suddenly 348 for seven but the Jones-Bushnell partnership ensured a record-breaking total was reached.
Report provided by the ECB Reporter's Network