Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Come to Life with Late Rally

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Come to Life with Late Rally

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Consistency has been the buzzword for Durham all winter. The only consistent thing about them yesterday, though, was their complete inconsistency.

Having been bowled out for a seemingly inadequate 185 before allowing Somerset to halve their lead without the fall of a single wicket, Durham burst into life as the sun began to set, taking four wickets for only 34 runs to force their way back into the game.

Both coach Martyn Moxon and skipper Jon Lewis had blamed suicidal sessions, as well as a crippling injury list, for Durham's ranking as the worst County Championship side in the country last season.

Both felt that, while their young side was always capable of showing potential in isolation, Durham's players were unable to put together a truly devastating performance.

In their first session of the new campaign, a lack of discipline with the bat meant hopes of a positive launch to a new season appeared to have been dashed by lunch.

Wickets tumbled with worrying regularity, with only Lewis, playing an excellent captain's innings, steadying the ship.

He remained undefeated on 50 at lunch, but his side were already in the mire at 101-5 thanks to a devastating double spell by Richard Johnson.

It is the opinion of the majority of members here that Johnson would have been an England regular had his career not been blighted by a persistent knee problem.

But he showed no signs of discomfort against Durham, bowling a consistent length with as much swing as he could muster on a sunny west country morning.

Opener Michael Gough was his first victim, edging to wicketkeeper Robert Turner for 14. Gary Pratt quickly followed, misjudging a low delivery for eight before Vince Wells followed a wide delivery from West Indian pace bowler Nixon McLean which carried to Turner.

Johnson, though, did the real damage, taking the scalps of both Nicky Peng and Danny Law in quick succession and ending the innings with figures of 5-64. …

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