Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Are Searching for a Vital Bonus; Skipper Tells Side to Eke out the Runs

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Are Searching for a Vital Bonus; Skipper Tells Side to Eke out the Runs

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

PARTNERSHIPS will be the key as Phil Mustard sends his men out in search of crucial bonus points today.

With 99 more to save the follow-on and their top five in the pavilion, Durham are not certain of avoiding County Championship defeat against Lancashire. But after just 134.4 overs in the first three days, a draw looks favourite so it is important the hosts squeeze as much out of it as possible.

"Saving the follow-on is going to be our first target," said the captain, seven not out overnight. "If we do that we can hopefully get a point as well. From there hopefully we can get more points because they're really vital.

"If we want to say we're going to go for the Championship again these are the sides we've got to put up a really good fight against. If we want to show our class and ability, it's a great chance."

Teams get bonus points for every 50 runs scored between 200 and 400 in the first 110 overs of the first innings.

Durham must have known it would be hard work yesterday. They have not had the best of the conditions but would deserve more sympathy had they made better use of the one time they were in their favour, on Tuesday.

Yesterday the clouds returned and Lancashire's new-ball bowlers justified Geoff Cook's assertion that they are the country's best.

Paul Collingwood faced Jimmy Anderson from the day's first ball. It must be difficult for full-time internationals to (very) occasionally jump on to the county treadmill, and a Durham average of 20 since establishing himself in Test cricket suggests it might not always get Collingwood's juices flowing. But pitch two centrally-contracted players against one another and you usually get an absorbing contest.

Collingwood began positively, taking eight off the first two overs, so Anderson responded with bumper warfare.

His first was so ridiculous it comfortably cleared wicketkeeper Sutton. The next delivery had Collingwood dodging but he could not avoid the third, striking his left bicep. …

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