Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

This Is a Huge Week in Durham's Season

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

This Is a Huge Week in Durham's Season

Article excerpt


TODAY sees the start of a big week for Durham cricket. We're taking on Yorkshire in a County Championship game which will go a long way to deciding who wins the title.

Yorkshire are top of the table, 25.5 points ahead of us.

But with a maximum 24 points for a win and Durham having a game in hand, they'll know we're still breathing down their necks.

We'll still have four games to play after this and Yorkshire three so nothing will be decided at North Marine Road. But the confidence the winning side takes from the game will be massive.

Both sides have plenty of it at the moment after Yorkshire outplayed Nottinghamshire last week, and we did the same to Surrey over five fantastic days which put us right in the title hunt.

To score over 400 with the bat at Chester-le-Street and win by an innings and 144 runs was a fantastic way to warm-up for this game, and we followed it up with a 133-run win in the YB40.

It was great to see the batsmen in form and the bowlers taking wickets.

Everyone who comes into the side at the moment is doing well.

Jamie Harrison took five first-innings wickets in his first game for 14 months, and Mark Wood claimed his own career-best five-fer in the second innings.

It was also great to see Usman Arshad having such a good debut, with a couple of important wickets in each innings.

I've only ever played Twenty20 cricket at Scarborough but you know you're going to get a big crowd and a big atmosphere - especially as this game takes place during the Scarborough Cricket Festival.

The crowd are really close to the action so you can feel the atmosphere and the home fans are always on your back!

But judging by the number of tickets the lads are leaving on the gate for family and friends there should be a good number of Durham fans there for our shortest away trip of the season too. When you play county cricket you really look forward to the sort of atmosphere that I'm expecting for the next four days.

It's our derby and there are quite a few links between the clubs, including my old team-mate Liam Plunkett, who is having a great season after leaving us to join Yorkshire. …

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