Chris Rushworth: My 50 was a proud moment, now I want the title

Journal columnist Chris Rushworth has a half-century to toast, but he hopes the big celebration is still to come

Stu Forster/Getty Images Durham bowler Chris Rushworth in action
Durham bowler Chris Rushworth in action

Yesterday was a special day for me, and hopefully tomorrow can be an important one in the history of Durham County Cricket Club.

At the start of the year my main target was to get to 50 County Championship wickets, so to reach it yesterday was pretty special for me.

But to be involved in my first title-winning Durham team would be even better. Two more days’ cricket like the stuff we’ve produced over the last few weeks should be enough to get us over the line.

It would be a fitting reward for a great bunch of lads. Without doubt this is the best dressing room I’ve ever been involved in.

It was a proud moment reaching 50 wickets with a game to go, especially after I was left out of a couple of matches earlier in the season.

I worked a lot on my fitness in the winter, which is why I’ve been able to bowl the long spells I’ve done in the last couple of weeks.

Playing every game is important too because of the confidence it gives you and that feeling of knowing you’re bowling well. It makes a huge difference when you know you’re bowling well, and if you’re taking wickets, you feel good pretty much every time the ball comes out of your hand.

Knowing the captain and the coach are backing you just helps you to relax. After that you know it’s up to you to do your job.

I doubt there’s a changing room in the world with an atmosphere like ours at the moment.

The lads are buzzing and there’s a feelgood factor, which is showing on the field because we’ve produced some unbelievable cricket this season.

We were always quite confident after the way we finished last year, especially having been bottom of the league halfway through.

Paul Collingwood’s an attacking captain. He’s happy to make a gutsy decision to go for a win, like he did at home to Yorkshire. To come out of games like Trent Bridge, Scarborough and Derby last week with wins was unbelievable. To grind a win at Scarborough from a team playing cricket as good as Yorkshire were at the time was an amazing achievement and just shows the confidence and ability we have.

It isn’t just the senior players either, the young lads are coming in and doing their job. To win the title at home would be brilliant. We can’t afford to get too far ahead of ourselves, but the way we played yesterday has made that a real possibility.

We had a bit of a tricky patch with the bat but the experience of Colly and Phil Mustard settled us down and hopefully today we can push for 250 and the victory that would then give us the title.

If we can do that I’m sure there will be a few more supporters down tomorrow, and it would be great to see you there.

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