Durham Jets aim to top Surrey but face a wait for the last eight

Durham may be forced to wait until next week to make the 50-over quarter-finals, whatever their result against Surrey today

Durham Cricket Club, Head Coach Jon Lewis
Durham Cricket Club, Head Coach Jon Lewis

The waiting will go on, whatever happens. Yet while victory over Surrey at the Emirates ICG today will not guarantee Durham Jets a place in the Royal London One-Day Cup quarter-finals, Jon Lewis has challenged his side to “crack on”, and give themselves the best chance of advancing.

Durham rose to second in the Group B table – the top four progress to the last eight – following Tuesday’s home win over Nottinghamshire Outlaws.

They take on a Surrey team that has struggled in the 50-over format.

But with the majority of the rest of the group not due to complete their fixtures until the middle of next week, even a win may not, yet, be enough.

“It’s ridiculous that it might be another week before we know whether we’re in the quarters,” said Lewis.

“Some teams are still playing round robin games into the middle of next week.

“So it’ll be odd, but all we can do is give ourselves the best chance, and if we win on Thursday we can crack on.”

They must do so without Graham Onions, who has a side strain, and Ben Stokes, a centurion two days ago but now on potential England duty ahead of the fifth Test against India, which begins tomorrow. However, Lewis was pleased by the manner in which the Jets rallied following injury, bowling only his third ball, in just the second over, on Tuesday.

And while warning the visitors never constitute easy opponents, Lewis is confident Durham go into today’s action in “good shape”.

“We knew we had to win our last two games and this (Tuesday’s win) makes it interesting on Thursday,” he said.

“I think if we win then we’ve got a decent chance of making the quarter-finals. We suffered a bit of a setback in the first 10 minutes, losing Graham.

“But I’m really pleased with the way the team as a whole reacted to adversity in that respect.

“A few guys had to step up and bowl a few more overs than maybe they might have done, and they shared the wickets around.

“It was good to see Scott (Borthwick) get through a good spell, which is nice.

“We didn’t really use (Gareth) Breese too much but he bowled an important three or four overs towards the end.

“He’ll have to play more of a role for us going forward, and Calum MacLeod even got a couple of overs in, which is an option for us, especially as we’ll lose Stokes for the next game.

“So it was tough but we made a decent fist of the first half. I think 220 was a little bit under-par, so then we just needed one good partnership to get us home, and it was an outstanding partnership.

“We were pretty comfortable in the end, and it was a good way for Stokes to join up with the England side having scored a hundred.

“That’s obviously going to impress the England selectors, and maybe it’ll give him a chance of getting back into the Test side on Friday.”

On Surrey, Lewis added: “It’ll be a big game. I’m sure they’ll come up here wanting to put in a good performance.

“They’ve got some good players. Jason Roy’s been in fantastic white-ball form.

“It’s never going to be easy against Surrey. But we are in good shape at the moment, so pretty confident.”

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