Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Breese Doing His Chances No Harm; THE MATCH: Durham Dynamos V England XI

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Breese Doing His Chances No Harm; THE MATCH: Durham Dynamos V England XI

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner ? (0191) 201-6283 ?

WITH Rob Key and Phil Mustard bowling at the death for the England XI and Mark Stoneman turning his arm over for a Durham side featuring 39-year-old Nicky Phillips for the first time in ten years, it was hard to read too much into the Riversiders' only warm-up game before the Twenty20 Cup.

However, the fact Gareth Breese played a full part in it was great news for them.

Someone as modest as the Jamaican would never admit it, but even at 37 he is a key element in Durham's white-ball cricket.

His economy with the ball and dangerous lower-order hitting ensure that.

Despite top-scoring and getting through three overs, Breese is unsure if he will be fit for tomorrow's opening game at home to Lancashire.

That in itself represents progress.

At the start of the week interim coach Jon Lewis was expecting him only to play as a batsman on his return from a torn shoulder muscle.

While three overs costing 29 were not up to his high standards, just seeing him toss the ball up was a boost to Durham's hopes of for once making a decent fist of the 20-over competition.

Yesterday's game at South Gosforth was much more about having fun and honouring the contribution Stephen Harmison (right) has made to Durham cricket than anything else.

So there were probably quite a few disappointed when the fast bowler was unable to smack its final ball for a second six of the over.

It meant that, despite an 88 not out from 45 balls which was anything but the innings of a former cricketer, Andrew Flintoff was unable to celebrate one last victory with his best friend in cricket.

When asked about his fitness, Breese said: "I wouldn't say I'm 100% yet. It's good to get back into the middle and bowl, that was the hardest thing for me.

"However, t it surely feels a lot better than when I went down with injury four and a half weeks ago.

"I'm just taking it step by step, making sure I get it right so when I do come back I can play in all forms for the rest of the season if selected. "I just want to finish the season strongly. …

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