Durham’s Borthwick torments Middlesex again

Scott Borthwick
Scott Borthwick

DURHAM’S Scott Borthwick was delighted to torment Middlesex for the second time this season.

The Wearsider batted for all but the first two balls of the day to make 169 not out in the LV= County Championship Division One match at Lord’s.

Borthwick scored 216 in the reverse fixture in early June, but has not made any other centuries and came into this match on the back of a lean run.

He said: “I also got a few runs against Middlesex last year, so I was determined to do well today and to score a hundred at Lord’s is a good feeling.

“It’s a new ball pitch, but when the ball went soft it was hard to get away, so we had to be patient after lunch.

“I was lucky enough to get a good start when I put away a half volley and I didn’t mind having the second new ball come on to the bat better.”

The all-rounder faced 278 balls on the day, hitting 23 fours and one six, and helped Durham to 348 for seven at stumps.

Tim Murtagh’s swinging deliveries earned three wickets in the first seven overs and he also took the first of the two which fell immediately the second new ball was taken.

In between, one wicket fell in 73 overs as Borthwick put on 176 with Ben Stokes, who made 85, and 94 with Paul Collingwood.

On 38, the captain passed Dale Benkenstein’s record of 9,055 first-class runs for Durham and he eased to 59 before padding up to Murtagh’s fifth delivery with the new ball.

In the next over, Gordon Muchall also fell lbw for a five-ball duck to give Steven Finn his only wicket on a day when he generally bowled too short on the placid pitch.

When Lancashire were struggling at Hove in mid-afternoon it seemed both these sides, joint third-bottom in the Division One standings, would be happy with a draw in their battle to stave off relegation.

Middlesex settled for containment when Durham, after reaching 161 from 40 overs, scored only 17 off the next 10.

Neither Borthwick nor Stokes took any liberties against off-spinner Ollie Rayner, clearly not wishing to become his third victim in seven appearances this season.

Little wonder Rayner looked distraught when an impassioned lbw appeal against Phil Mustard was turned down late in the day. With two overs left Mustard shouldered arms and was lbw to Toby Roland-Jones.

Earlier in the day, Borthwick made a sprightly start when he went in to face the third ball after Durham chose to bat and saw Keaton Jennings bowled by Murtagh.

Mark Stoneman and Michael Richardson both fell to edged catches to make it 24 for three, but Stokes was never in any trouble and Borthwick settled for steady accumulation.

He profited heavily from the pull, which brought his only six off Roland-Jones over a very short boundary underneath Old Father Time.

There were 15 fours in his 170-ball century and he hit a further seven in continuing to 150 at an even pace.