posted by John Winn
At the Riverside this morning everything pointed to a Durham win but I was a little surprised that the two friends I travelled with from south west Durham thought that we need not pay for car parking after 12:40. 'Tempting providence' I was heard to mutter. We took our usual seats and considering that there was no guarantee that play would last for more than a short time there was a decent crowd enjoying some of the best sunshine of the summer.
Rushworth began proceedings and dismissed nightwatchman Linley in the first over. Just the start Durham wanted and with Onions bowling splendidly from the Lumley end Surrey's batsmen made only slow progress. Burns, who had opened the innings, was joined by Spriegel who Playfair shows has some good scores to his name and they added 22 for the seventh wicket until the opener got an absolute snorter from Onions and was brilliantly caught by Mustard. A wicket just when we needed one and this set the pattern for Spriegel and Batty had added 23 when the introduction of Thorpe saw Stokes take an athletic catch chasing a ball that had lobbed over his head to remove Spriegel.
Collingham tuned to Borthwick while there were still some runs to play with and after a couple of looseners were put away for four the young leg spinner did the trick by taking the last two wickets. Under previous seasons' regulations lunch would have been taken with the last pair at the crease but the arrangements for lunch are now in line with those for tea with play extended for up to half an hour if necessary to complete the innings. Batty must have heard the rattle of soup plates because off only the second ball of the extended session he was caught at deep midwicket by Stoneman.
Durham's victory took them four places up the table and left the brown caps in bottom place. In his post match interview Chris Adams expressed confidence that his team could win enough matches of the remaining four to stay up. I suppose Geoff Cook, Steve Rhodes and Peter Moores would say the same but they can't all be right. Victory for Middlesx in their match with Sussex starting at Hove tomorrow would just about make them safe.
Having fed the meter with another pound we enjoyed the glow of a second successive victory and ate our lunch as the crowd gradually dwindled away. I was home not long after three feeling pretty smug that I had made the journey.