Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Collingwood Tribute for Key Men in Title Charge

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Collingwood Tribute for Key Men in Title Charge

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner Sports Writer

PAUL Collingwood has paid tribute to the men whose milestones have put Durham within sight of a third County Championship.

Unless Yorkshire can reduce their lead at the top of the table by four points in the round of matches starting today, Durham will win the title at home to Nottinghamshire in the game which starts at 10.15am today.

If they do not, there will be another chance at Sussex in the final week.

It has been a real team effort, but the statistics will show four men in particular have made massive contributions.

Graham Onions has 60 County Championship wickets this season, while Journal columnist Chris Rushworth needs two more for his halfcentury.

Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick passed 1,000 First-Class runs for the season in last week's ninewicket win at Derby, but need 44 and 56 respectively to reach the more worthwhile landmark of 1,000 in the Championship. The emergence of Borthwick is particularly gratifying. Since Collingwood was the last locally-born Durham batsman to score 1,000 First-Class runs in a season in 2005, the No.3 slot has been a real problem for Durham. Perhaps only Will Smith in 2008 has convinced there since.

"It's been a problem position for us in the past but thankfully not know," said the captain. "We've found a guy who seems to enjoy it.

"He's quite an attacking player who times the ball quite well and that's the beauty of him because he doesn't have to take many risks to score runs. It's the same with Mark Stoneman.

"It's a great attribute to have. We're very lucky.They seem to be working their games out quite well."

Borthwick had never had 500 First-Class runs in a season before, but has blossomed since being promoted up the order.

"He started the year at eight but he's a versatile player who's really enjoyed the responsibility of the No.3 position and the extra pressure," added Collingwood. …

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