Wednesday, 21 June 2017

A better day

posted by John Winn

This week Glamorgan are the visitors at The Riverside for championship action for the first time since 2004.  Familiar names from that occasion when they won by 201 runs include Croft, Maynard, Wharf and Cosker for Glamorgan and Killeen, Muchall and Breeze for Durham The two captains then, Robert Croft and Jon Lewis are now the head coaches for the two counties.The only player to survive the passage of thirteen years is current Durham skipper Paul Collingwood although his appearance in 2004 was delayed until the third morning for, having been released from England duties at Lord's, he was delayed on the M1 finally arriving in time to capture three wickets including that of Croft.

The introductory paragraph has delayed the need to describe Monday's play which made viewing that would probably make live transmission of the Brexit talks seem exciting. Glamorgan opted for the toss, won it, decided to bat and when stumps were drawn after 96 overs they had 'amassed' 221 for 7, five to the perspiring Rushworth on a day of temperatures rarely experienced at The Riverside, temperatures sufficient for us to forsake our usual vantage point for a more shady area. By tea when, with some relief I set off for home, Glamorgan were 147 for 2 with Australian Selman, already a centurion against Durham this season, holding things together with dogged support from Salter and Ingram. For the more loyal Durham supporters things perked up after tea with five wickets falling but no improvement in the scoring rate.

Back again yesterday and back to our usual seats on a cooler and altogether livelier day. Wagg and Marchant De Lange, oh my Emrys Davies of long ago, were at the crease and showed a much more positive attitude than anything seen on Monday taking their eighth wicket partnership to 66 before the South African was pouched at slip, the first of three wickets for McCarthy. Coughlin was the tastiest cheese on the Welsh Rarebit, going for almost four an over with the tail enjoying too much short stuff. Credit to Sunderland born Matthew Potts, playing just his second championship match who had 2 for 59 off his 23 overs. Collingwood made his Durham debut two years before the youngster was born.

Cook and Steel, the latter opening in place of Jennings who is on Lions duty, saw us through to lunch but Cook, for whom this is his last match in Durham's colours and who by his own admission has been disappointing, fell shortly after the interval for 14. Steel and Burnham back from injury both got starts but Steel fell for a sucker punch from De Lange and Burnham went to a slip catch that rebounded to Ingram. Enter Collingwood, not delayed on the M1 or anyway else and with Clarke added 185, a record for Durham's fourth wicket against Glamorgan. Clarke reached his maiden century but went to the Cullen De Lange combination for 109 just before the close leaving Pringle to see things out with his skipper.

The forecast for the north east today indicates some heavy showers with the added prospect of thunder and lightening which may spoil the promising position Durham find themselves in just 14 in arrears with six wickets in hand. Having considered a third day travelling up the A1 I have decided instead to tick off a few jobs and then slip over to York where Yorkshire II are taking on Derbyshire. Sunny intervals on the menu here.

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