Victory vital if Jon Lewis’ Durham men to progress

It still might not be enough to put them in the YB40 semi-finals but even so, Durham are in real need of a victory at Derbyshire tonight

Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis

It still might not be enough to put them in the YB40 semi-finals but even so, Durham are in real need of a victory at Derbyshire tonight.

The Riversiders have lost three of their four games since the conclusion of the Twenty20 group stage.

With one in each competition, the damage has been limited, but the worry is Durham could get stuck in a rut and a team which nine days on go was in the running for the treble could end 2013 trophyless.

“It’s not to be ignored,” said interim coach Jon Lewis. “It’s three different competitions but a winning habit is a good one to get into, and a losing one is one you want to avoid.”

Top of the group when the game started, Tuesday’s crushing defeat at Essex has severely hit Durham’s YB40 hopes.

Only the group leaders and best second-placed side will go into the last four. Hampshire, still with a game in hand, have replaced Durham at the head of Group B and the quarter-point deducted for last year’s salary cap breach means they have the lowest points of the teams in second.

“We’re still part of the competition but we need things to go our way,” was Lewis’ assessment going into the penultimate group match. “There’s still enough to play for.

“Like the Twenty20 was, it’s got down to the point where every game is a must-win for us. Hopefully we can.

“But for the rest of the season generally, it’s important to get a few wins.

“It certainly can have an effect on us in the Championship. We just want to find a way to win.”

Injuries and a small squad have tied Lewis’ hands, but he is taking an unchanged squad to Derby.

He said: “At this stage we don’t want to leap to any changes.

“Bringing (Mark) Wood in for the last game was enforced by Graham Onions’ broken finger, but we were pleased to get him in and he backed it up, to be fair.

“It’s been hard on him the last few weeks because it’s not like he hasn’t been in nick.

“I haven’t spoken to Mark (Stoneman, Durham’s stand-in YB40 captain) too much as yet but I wouldn’t have thought there would be too many changes, although with people like (Michael) Richardson, there are options to change the batting order.”

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