Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Need to Turn Focus Back to County after T20 Heartbreak; THE PREVIEW: Durham V Warwickshire County Championship, Emirates Riverside

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Need to Turn Focus Back to County after T20 Heartbreak; THE PREVIEW: Durham V Warwickshire County Championship, Emirates Riverside

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner Sports writer Twitter: @sturayner

JON Lewis says Durham need to quickly get their minds switched on to County Championship cricket after the disappointment of losing their first Twenty20 cup final on Saturday.

The Riversiders welcome Warwickshire today just 14 points off second-placed Yorkshire, but only 16 points above the Division One relegation zone.

So having suffered their first defeats of the season at Somerset and Middlesex in their last two games, Durham cannot afford their losing streak to become anything more than a blip.

"We've got a third of the season still left," coach Lewis pointed out. "They're important games. We've just got the one competition to focus on now and it's a fairly swift turnaround.

"We trained on Monday but it was more to get us mentally right than physically.

"It will be an important game, definitely. Lord's was not a great performance on day one. We actually did bloody well on day two, I thought, but we'd left ourselves with too much to do."

Seventh-placed Durham have a game in hand on Ian Bell's Warwickshire, who are a point and a place higher in the table.

Such is the ridiculously tight nature of the division an the uneven spread of Championship fixtures that in mid-August only leaders Middlesex and possibly second-placed Yorkshire can bank on being back in the top-flight in 2017.

"You keep thinking the table is going to take shape but it just has no shape about it at all," coach Lewis said. "Surrey have gone from flirting with the bottom two to the top three in a couple of weeks, although they've played two more games than us."

On Saturday Durham played at Twenty20 Finals Day for only the second time in their history, beating Yorkshire in the semi-final, only to miss out by four wickets to Northamptonshire in the final.

"I'm pretty pleased with both performances," Lewis reflected. "We played two good games of cricket - not perfect, but pretty good.

"Yorkshire had a strong side and we knew that would be a hell of a challenge. That game took a lot out of the players before the final."

Durham have some important decisions to make about the makeup of their side after the disappointment of the last two four-day matches. …

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