It’s a big weekend for Durham and after the way my week has gone, I’m just hoping to play a full part.
Today, we play our final group game in the Royal London Cup knowing a victory over Surrey should pretty much secure our place in the quarter-finals.
Then it’s straight on the team bus to Old Trafford, where another crucial game – this time in the County Championship – starts tomorrow.
The 50-over cup has been a competition of ups and downs for us this year, and to be honest it looks like every side in our group has found it the same, with the top four or five teams all winning the same amount of games.
There’s been no clear flyaway team, so it shows people are finding this new format hard to adjust to after five years of playing 40-over cricket.
Although we’ve won the last two games we’ve finished – Sunday’s game against Middlesex was abandoned because of the rain – it’s been a little disappointing on a personal note as I haven’t been selected. Of course, I want to play every game and I always back myself with the white ball. Usually my skills and disciplines suit the shorter format.
But for one reason or another – possibly a little fatigue – the coach and captain thought I wasn’t doing the job I was picked for. Never mind, that’s the way the game goes.
I’ve not been sat idle. This week I’ve been playing at Stockton in the Second XI Championship, where I picked up a couple of first-innings wickets.
It’s kept me ticking over and for myself, Keaton Jennings and Michael Richardson, it means that if we get the nod at Old Trafford, we at least will have had some red-ball cricket since our last Championship game, which finished on July 15.
If I get back into the team against Surrey today, I just need to lift my game and show them what I can do! Hopefully, I can bowl us into a quarter-final place. The game is a 10.30am start at Chester-le-Street, so your support would be much appreciated.
Lancashire are in the Division One relegation zone, so we know they will be fighting like mad to get a result. They haven’t quite played the good cricket they would have liked since returning to the top division, but they have some gutsy players in the changing room and their captain and stand-in coach Glen Chapple will lead from the front for certain.
It’s been a few weeks since our last four-day outing, which ended in defeat to Warwickshire, so the lads are keen to get back into things and see us sliding back up that league.
We know we have the players to be up there, but we haven’t showed it this year.
We need to get that grit and fight back and get some positives results out of our last five games.