It’s been a while coming, so it was a nice feeling to finally get off the mark in this season’s County Championship, and hopefully Durham can now get on a roll.
It would have been nicer still if we hadn’t taken our game against Lancashire right down to the wire yesterday, only completing a 27-run win in the final session, but everyone was delighted to get over the line.
Although we hadn’t won a four-day game all season, we had only lost one, and we felt as though this had been coming for a while. We’ve been in a winning position in a few games only to be outdone by the weather.
It was good to get four wickets in the second innings, including the decisive one of Simon Kerrigan. I’m probably bowling as well as I can at the minute, just without the volume of wickets I took last year. But the team will always be the main thing.
Cricket’s a funny game. If you get that winning feeling it sticks with you.
When we were bottom in 2012 we had to wait until the second half of the season for our first victory but once we got it, we ended the campaign unbeaten, winning five of our last six games.
Momentum is a massive factor.
We’ve got a Twenty20 game tonight, followed by a key Championship game against Sussex. Hopefully we can do well in both those games to get on a bit of a roll.
The key thing was not to panic when things were going against us – both on the field yesterday, and in general over the course of the 2014 season.
When you panic, bad habits creep in but there was always a lot of belief in the changing room that we can win games of cricket.
Yesterday’s game showed that we can keep our cool.
We won quite a few tight matches on our way to last season’s title, and that was probably important in closing out our first victory of 2014.
It’s a good feeling when you come through a match like that on the winning side, and an important one too.
You need to make sure you hold it in you because when you’ve had it you know there’s always going to be a chance towards the end of a game, and you’ve just got to be on your toes to make sure you take it when it comes.
It was great to have another debutant put in an outstanding performance too.
Paul Coughlin scored 85 in his first innings as a Championship cricketer. It was the highest score anyone has ever made batting at ten for Durham. He then followed it with 3-42 – the best bowling figures of Lancashire’s first innings.
Coggers came with us to Abu Dhabi and played against the MCC there. He bowled brilliantly out there.
Unfortunately, he got a few injuries when he could have come in earlier in the season but he was given his chance against Lancashire and showed what a player he is making a massive first-innings partnership with Phil Mustard. That shows how good he can be with the bat, and he bowled amazingly.
He’s definitely one to keep an eye on.
Coming off the back of two defeats, tonight’s Twenty20 game against Leicestershire is a massive game for us in the format.
We’re not dead and buried yet, so hopefully the weather stays nice and we can have a big crowd of people dressed as superheroes cheering us on!