Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Still Have Points to Prove

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Still Have Points to Prove

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

LIKE the poor soul who entered the Somerset draw and walked away with a gardening book, Durham and Somerset had to make the most of what they could get yesterday.

For the champions of the last two years first prize has gone, but with three matches left they are refusing to accept the game is over.

Durham began 2010 eyeing a hattrick, now they want to avoid one.

Twice in the last decade champions have been relegated the following season and the Riversiders are wary of not doing likewise after horrible weather forced them to accept a thoroughly unsatisfying draw.

Prize money and pride should ensure Durham push their aching bodies through three more weeks of cricket, but coach Geoff Cook (pictured right) was quick to point out that is not all.

He said: "There is a lot more than that, we have to make sure we pick up points in every game to make sure we keep out of the bottom two.

"It is going to be tight and with the scoring system these days one win or two wins for the teams below you and you can find yourself in a place you don't want to be.

"It is important we keep picking up points. If we can pick up two victories that would be fantastic, but first thing's first really, we have to be playing good cricket.

"The players know we have to take points from every game. I can assure you there will not be any slacking." Second-from-bottom Essex are 21 points behind fifth-placed Durham and one of their two remaining games is at home to the champions.

When the teams re-emerged yesterday after 67-and-a-half hours of purgatory for the spectators it was as if nothing had happened.

Discussions took place between captains Phil Mustard and Marcus Trescothick and, with Gordon Muchall and Mark Stoneman turning rarelyseen bowling arms over and Liam Plunkett practicing a bit of spin, it looked like we might be set for a contrived result. …

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