Durham rock-bottom of cricket’s county championship

TOP SCORER: Phil Mustard
TOP SCORER: Phil Mustard

THE only way is up for a Durham side rooted to the bottom of the County Championship Division table.

But head coach Geoff Cook says his batsmen must stand and deliver if the men from the Emirates ICG are to arrest their shocking form at the crease.

Only four batsmen reached double figures, skipper Phil Mustard top scoring with 45.

Cook said: “We’ve got some pretty good players and they haven’t been able to get any totals on the board.

“You try to be objective in terms of the analysis but in the end they all could have scored more runs and that’s something we have to rectify very quickly.

“We have certainly got to try to get better with bat and ball.”

Cook was speaking after Durham suffered a crushing nine-wicket championship defeat as their clash against Warwickshire at Edgbaston ended a day early, despite only 22 overs being managed on day Two. Yet another woeful display by the Durham batsmen made things all too easy for the hosts and in particular Keith Barker who claimed his first ever 10-wicket haul. The men from the Emirates ICG have failed to fire with the bat so far this term, and fell woefully short of the standard expected as they tried to chase down a first innings deficit of 104 runs. They did manage to claw back that lead, having bowled out the home team for 267 which included 120 from England batsman Ian Bell but the regular fall victims meant they were never going to post a meaningful second innings total. Barker, who took 5-33 in Durham’s opening innings, again proved the destroyer in chief - taking 5-37 at the second time of asking With Durham all out for a meagre 139 Warwickshire made light work of closing out the game, and needed just 7.4 overs to surpass the 36 runs they required. Callum Thorp did manage to claim the wicket of Varun Chopra before the inevitable victory was secured, but that was of no consolation to Durham.

Cook’s outfit must now head back to the north east and try to regroup ahead of next week’s visit by Somerset, who they face in their next championship clash which starts next Wednesday.

SEE Saturday’s Mail for full story