Collingwood praise for Durham youngster Matty Potts

Praised: Matty Potts.
Praised: Matty Potts.

Skipper Paul Collingwood hailed Sunderland-born 18-year-old Matty Potts – after rain scuppered Durham’s chance of victory at Leicestershire.

Heavy rain forced the Specsavers County Championship Division Two match between Leicestershire and Durham – the bottom two in the table – to be abandoned as a draw, with no play possible on either of the last two days.

Durham were in charge of the game with an imposing first innings total of 525-8 declared, with Cameron Steel (224) and Tom Latham (124) the pick of the batsmen.

In reply, Leicestershire were 124-4 when rain halted Durham’s bid to drive home their advantage and turn it into only a third victory of the Championship campaign.

Despite the obvious frustration at the result, Collingwood pinpointed some big positives for his young side to take from the two days of action at the start of the week.

Collingwood said: “I’ve been very excited by the potential of (seam bowler) Matty Potts since he came into the squad – what I’ve seen over the last few days suggests he’s a real prospect, for us and England Under 19s.

“To have the group of strong youngsters we have is very exciting.

“The cricket we played was of a very high standard and that is the benchmark we want to stick to for the rest of the season.”

Leicestershire head coach Pierre de Bruyn said his own younger players had learned some valuable lessons over the testing first two days.

“It’s invaluable for the likes of Gavin Griffiths, Dieter Klein and Callum Parkinson to get in a lot of overs against Test quality batters like Tom Latham on a flat track,” said de Bruyn.

“It was also great to see Neil Dexter bowling at something close to his best again, we’re delighted for him because he’s had a tough season in many ways.”

Durham’s 10-point haul from the draw, four points more than the hosts took, moved them four points above Leicestershire, who are bottom on 50 points.

Durham’s attention now turns back to the NatWest T20 Blast, with a home match against Worcestershire Rapids at the Emirates Riverside tomorrow (6.30pm).

The sides met at Worcester less than a fortnight ago, when Collingwood became the Jets’ first ever T20 centurion, though the Rapids won by eight wickets as Joe Clarke hit an unbeaten ton of his own.

Worcestershire will be without former Durham star John Hastings, whose season is over after picking up a foot injury in the recent Championship clash with Sussex.

Director of cricket Steve Rhodes said of the Australian all-rounder: “He is back next year and very much looking forward to that.

“He has got to get that foot right and, with another winter under his belt, hopefully John will come back fit and taking wickets and scoring runs again next season.”

The Jets’ Family Zone, which features a batting simulator, speed cage and fielding cage – will again be open to all.

Advance tickets are available from Durham CCC’s online box office or by calling 0844 499 4466.

Durham’s final home T20 game is against Birmingham Bears on Sunday (2.30pm), before the campaign finishes away to Derbyshire (Tuesday) and Northants (Friday, August 18).