Durham showed exactly what we are about in Scarborough last week, and it has put us in a fantastic position for this week’s game in hand over Yorkshire.
But it came at a high cost.
Six points from our game against Sussex, which started yesterday, will be enough to take us top of the table, but we will be going all out for another win after such a great one over Yorkshire.
Ideally we would have liked 300 or more batting first yesterday but we know anywhere around 250 is competitive at Chester-le-Street.
Things happen quite quickly here so hopefully we can get on top. We got Sussex three down last night and whenever there’s new batsmen in it’s always hard to start an innings here.
We had to do it without Mark Wood and Jamie Harrison, who picked up injuries at Scarborough but Mitch Claydon came in like he’d never been away, taking a wicket with his second ball, and Usman Arshad showed against Surrey he can slot in and do the right thing.
Woody and Jamie’s injuries just show how much hard work went into what can only be described as a very tough but rewarding victory.
Once we’d batted we knew taking 20 wickets was going to be tough, especially with the quality of players Yorkshire had on a pitch that seemed very batsman-friendly once the new ball had worn off. But, like we’ve shown in the past this season we were willing to fight hard all the way and not give them anything.
The first session on day three really summed up how we are playing.Starting three wickets down, the Yorkies looked to be in a pretty comfortable position but we kept chomping at the bit and in a fascinating two hours we had them all out by lunch.
As much as I’m sure the lads would have loved another bat on that pitch, we had to make them follow on to give ourselves any real chance of coming away with victory.
The new ball claimed an early wicket but from then on it seemed very easy for Phil Jaques and Kane Williamson, who finished the day unbeaten on 151 and 90 respectively.
We still had a lead of 23 coming into the last day, and knew one or two early wickets would put us in a great position in the game. A high-class spell of fast bowling from Ben Stokes saw the wickets of both overnight batsmen within the space of three balls, adding only seven between them.
Again, our boys could sniff an incredible and important win and we kept on pushing. The bowlers gave nothing away, we kept creating chances and the wickets came.
Scott Borthwick claimed the last three for no runs in what had been a magnificent spell from him without much luck.
We chased down 121 with 10.2 overs to spare and the feeling outside that changing room when Stokes hit those winning runs was something I’ll never forget.
It was the same excitement and achievement I felt at Trent Bridge early in the season, when with our backs against the wall we turned things around and came out of four hard days’ work with one of the best wins we’ve seen.
It was nice to see Stokesey back in England’s one-day team and it’s a pity he didn’t get chance to continue his good batting form but hopefully they’ll keep hold of him for the five-match series against Australia.
If so, he'll do Durham proud