Durham look to get back on track

TWENTY20 cricket has been the death knell of many a county season, but Mark Stoneman is determine to ensure it does not derail Durham’s YB40 campaign

Mark Stoneman of Durham CCC
Mark Stoneman of Durham CCC

TWENTY20 cricket has been the death knell of many a county season, but Mark Stoneman is determine to ensure it does not derail Durham’s YB40 campaign.

Tomorrow in Glasgow the Riversiders play 40-over cricket for the first time since June 22.

When the competition went into mothballs Durham were high on confidence, top of their group and looking good for a place in the semi-finals.

They return to it on the back of two demoralising defeats.

At Lord’s last week their batting let them down as they slid to defeat in an important County Championship game.

On Tuesday it was the bowlers’ turn to suffer as they lost a Twenty20 Cup quarter-final at Northamptonshire by a crushing 36 runs.

Captain Stoneman has warned his players risk an unwanted hat-trick if they go into their third form of cricket in eight days feeling sorry for themselves against Scotland.

He admitted: “Tuesday was a massive disappointment. Within the space of a week or 10 days we went from the massive elation of having qualified by winning our last four games.

“To go from the big high of getting through to the knockout stages to then lose the way we did was disappointing.

“The lads took it pretty hard, which is what you expect really.

“We’re in it to win every game we play, but at the same time we still have a heck of a lot to play for in 40-over and four-day cricket this year.

“It’s a case of assessing what we did right and taking that forward, while trying not to make the same mistakes in the other formats.

“That’s the nature of the season, you’re straight back into it.

“It’s different formats, but the cricket just keeps on coming.

“You don’t have much time to lick your wounds and feel sorry for yourself, it’s just a case of getting back to work and getting on with the job and get back to winning ways.”

It can be a bugbear of county coaches, but Stoneman is relaxed about the idea of switching from four-day to 20 to 40-over cricket in just over a week.

He added: “For the last few weeks we’ve been playing Twenty20 with the odd four-day game in between, but the same principles apply that we’ve tried to carry through the whole season.

“The lads have been working hard in practice, but we’ll hopefully get back to winning ways and try and stay at the top of the group. Everyone’s had their role and we’ve gone about fulfilling them.

“We’ve had contributions all down the order with the bat and with the ball all the lads have done a good job.

“The same principles apply. You’re bowling the ball, you’ll have certain areas you want to hit as a batter, you’ve got your basic game you’re trying to keep in tune, then your extra options when it comes to hitting boundaries and scoring 360 degrees.

“You can tune what you need on any given day and as long as your basics are in order switching from one format to the other isn’t too bad. There are elements of Twenty20 you do take into the 40-over stuff, but I think it’s just a case of being well drilled in whatever you’re doing and having a plan going forward. The fact we spend so much time together is what gives us an advantage when we play Scotland, who don’t play full-time.”

England have released Graham Onions, disappointingly left out of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street, to play in the first of three YB40 away games in four days. The others are at Essex and Derbyshire.


DURHAM (from): Stoneman (c), Mustard (wk), Borthwick, Collingwood, Stokes, Muchall, Smith, Breese, Richardson, Pringle, Wood, Rushworth, Onions.


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