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Ben Stokes shows all-round return to form to inspire Durham victory


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Four wickets and handy cameo with the bat put Birmingham Bears to the sword

Durham 164 for 8 (Bancroft 60, Stokes 35, Brathwaite 3-32) beat Birmingham Bears 130 (Rhodes 45. Stokes 4-27) by 34 runs

Ben Stokes starred with bat and ball as Durham returned to winning ways in the Vitality Blast with a 34-run victory over Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston.
Both sides went into action on the back of successive defeats and it was the visitors who ended their lean streak after they defended a total of 164 for 8, with Cameron Bancroft top-scoring with 60 from 45 balls, and Stokes chipping in with 35 from 20.

Carlos Brathwaite
led the Bears’ bowling with 3 for 32, Tim Bresnan adding 2 for 25 and Will Rhodes 2 for 11.

Durham then regularly took wickets at important times to bowl the Bears out for 130 in 18.3 overs. Rhodes’s perky 45 (27 balls) was ended by a run-out and Matt Lamb’s worthy 39 (33 balls, three fours, two sixes) was without support as Stokes, assisted by brilliant catching, added 4 for 27 to his cameo with the bat .

Put in, Durham started slowly, losing openers Graham Clark and David Bedingham, caught in the deep off Craig Miles and Bresnan respectively, on the way to 25 for 2 from five overs.

Stokes launched the counter-attack with two sixes off Brathwaite. The England star looked dangerous but perished in pursuit of another maximum off his old West Indian foe, superbly caught by Sam Hain running around the mid-wicket boundary.

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