Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Depend on Their Bowlers

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Depend on Their Bowlers

Article excerpt

Byline: By Stuart Rayner

With the vast expanse of the Western Terrace closed in an attempt to save money, Headingley had a strange look to it yesterday. And Durham's performance against Yorkshire was no better balanced.

The bowlers were in excellent form yesterday afternoon but they needed to be after once again being let down by the batsmen.

Having won the toss and batted first, Durham were disappointed to make only 274 on a slow surface. Fortunately their bowling attack was every bit as miserly as the batsmen had been profligate, leaving the County Championship Division One game in the balance.

"We were just one really big partnership away from posting a score that could have put them under pressure," said a frustrated Dale Benkenstein afterwards. "We just gave away soft dismissals, myself included, and a few of the guys missed straight balls.

"They didn't have to work very hard for some of their wickets. If they'd bowled really well and knocked us over there's no complaints, but we kept losing wickets to let them in the game."

Their over-generous hosts helped Durham with four dropped catches but clung on to dismiss the two key batsmen, albeit at their second attempts. Michael Di Venuto and captain Benkenstein made hundreds at Worcester, but of the rest only Gareth Breese passed 50. If they are not careful, the batting's reliance on the pair could become a bad habit.

With Darren Gough and in particular Matthew Hoggard bowling tight lines, the openers had to be patient, only lively running between the wickets keeping the scoreboard ticking over. That it took the normally ultra-positive Di Venuto 26 balls to find the boundary demonstrated the difficulties.

The Australian pulled a six off Gough's next over but managed only one more boundary before his 58-ball knock was ended, strangled down leg-side by Tim Bresnan.

Di Venuto had been reprieved by Craig White, stretching to his right at gully, on 26 but only punished him with a further run. His departure, coupled with a change of bowling, broke the deadlock. Having put on 55 for the first wicket, Durham lost half their side after adding another 100 and were eventually bowled out for under 300. …

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