Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Durham Left with a Damp Feeling; Frustrating Draw the Inevitable Outcome

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Durham Left with a Damp Feeling; Frustrating Draw the Inevitable Outcome

Article excerpt

Byline: STUART RAYNER

DURHAM were frustrated by county cricket at its worst yesterday as they had to settle for a County Championship draw which did neither side any favours.

Yesterday was the first lovely day of the week in Somerset, but the teams only squeezed 29 overs in.

Umpires Richard Illingworth and Jeremy Lloyd seemed obsessed with some "damp patches" on the Somerset Stand side which were undetectable from beyond the boundary.

The players were kept off until 2pm waiting for it to dry.

By then the only hope was for a contrived result and with the captains not seeing eye-to-eye on targets, Durham wisely gave the game up as a bad job to battle the 300-plus miles through Bank Holiday traffic at 4.50pm.

"It was disappointing," said coach Geoff Cook. "We came down here hoping to get a victory and get right into the top three or four.

"But they're a strong team. (Marcus) Trescothick played really well on the first day (scoring 128) and after that the rain just puts a dampener on the whole thing.

"It's very frustrating when you come down to the South West where generally you expect some nice weather.

"There was a certain inevitability about it, which is the worst part of county cricket, really." There had been discussions about a sporting declaration and forfeit of innings to try and avoid a draw. Cook revealed: "It was a bit tricky because the equation kept changing each time after an inspection. The overs to be bowled was decreasing all the time.

"There was a brief chat before we went out and Somerset's vision of what was possible was a lot different to ours and so it proved."

When Somerset pulled out on 400-6, Durham were left 35 overs to score the 200 needed for a batting bonus point on a flat pitch. Even that proved a nogoer. "We said when we went out if we got off to a good start. …

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