Graham Onions keeps Durham on top against Middlesex

HAPPY DAYS: Durham's Ben Stokes celebrates having Middlesex batsman Tom Smith trapped lbw for 19 at Chester-le-Street

HAPPY DAYS: Durham's Ben Stokes celebrates having Middlesex batsman Tom Smith trapped lbw for 19 at Chester-le-Street

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DURHAM bowler Graham Onions was once again his side’s go-to guy as he delivered his second five-wicket haul of the campaign.

The England seamer took 5-39 from his 20 overs in a rain-affected day at the Emirates ICG.

Both sides had to break for cover throughout the day, and were off the field on no fewer than five ocassions as sleet and rain spells interupted proceedings on a blustery and grey day.

Onions admitted it was hard work for both teams in such conditions, but was obviously pleased that Durham seemed to cope far better than the visitors.

He said: “Towards the end it was absolutely freezing. When we were on and off the pitch we were talking among ourselves and saying ‘would you rather be a batter or a bowler in these situations?’.

“All of the batters were saying ‘I’d hate to be batting in this situation’.

“It’s not nice conditions for anyone to play cricket in if I’m being honest, and I think if anything it probably spiced up the wicket a little bit, which was good for us and for me personally it was nice to get a few more wickets.”

The five-wicket haul was the 18th of Onions career and while he was delighted to get another under his belt, he won’t be resting on his laurels.

“For me to get wickets for the club that I love and the team that I love to play for is what it’s all about,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of hard work still to do, and I’ve got another chance to get more wickets in the second innings, and I will trying as hard as I possibly can to go from 18 five-fers to 19.”

And while he was pleased with his own performance, he was quick to praise the efforts of the Durham bowling attack for sticking to their task as they restricted the Division One leaders to a first inning s total of 196 all out in reply to the home side’s 259.

“It was nice we all stuck to our plan and did well,” said the Gateshead bowler. “It’s not an impossible wicket to bat on, but there was enough in it that if you hang in there and you’re consistent enough you are going to get your rewards.”