Keaton Jennings’ resolute century steered Durham to a four-wicket victory over Warwickshire before lunch on the final day of their Specsavers County Championship match at Edgbaston today.
After resuming on the last morning on 154 for four, chasing 238, Durham eased to 238 for six thanks principally to Jennings’ steadfast 113 (228 balls, 14 fours, one six) - his third century of the season and eighth in first-class cricket.
The 23-year-old’s fifth-wicket partnership of 111 in 36 overs with captain Paul Collingwood (44, 124 balls, four fours) completed a superb fightback by Durham. Both fell to spinner Jeetan Patel shortly before the end but they had taken their side to the brink of victory.
Durham had been in deep trouble after two days, trailing by 123 on first innings. But they bowled themselves back into the match by dismissing Warwickshire for 114 and then, faced with a target which was far from a formality, overcame a Chris Wright-induced wobble to 87 for four to ultimately ease home against an attack shorn of first-innings destroyer Chris Woakes.
Woakes took nine for 36 on the second day before leaving the match to join England’s squad for the second Test against Sri Lanka. Without him, Warwickshire’s bowlers lacked the potency to avert their first championship defeat of the season.
Durham, meanwhile, were left to celebrate back-to-back victories and skipper Collingwood was delighted.
“At one stage we were well behind the eight-ball so to have scrapped our way out of it was very pleasing,” he said.
“Woakesy’s nine-for was literally international class, it was like facing 90 miles-per-hour leg-breaks, and many teams would have crumbled under that and not been able to fight back. But we kept fighting and kept punching and to come out with a win is an incredible feeling because we haven’t had many good times at Edgbaston in recent years.
“The guys showed a lot of skill and desire and to have three seamers who with only a handful of games between them and to get 20 wickets against that batting line-up is an incredible effort.
“James Weighell has got nine wickets in the match and deserves to be on the winning side.”
Warwickshire captain Ian Bell reflected that his team had let the opponents off the hook.
“We have given that one away, to be honest,” said Bell. “We were so on top after day two but I said to the guys we still then had to go out and bat well. I don’t know if we were complacent or not but we let Durham back in.
“We have only ourselves to blame for that. They came out with a good attitude and bowled well and then batted well to knock the runs off but we have to look at ourselves - we let them off the hook.
“We wanted to set them the highest score of the game to win. I think anything over 300 would have been hard and a lot different in terms of confidence in their dressing-room.
“It was frustrating because we played some good cricket but we still haven’t really hit our straps this season and put in a big performance. In this game there was a brilliant hundred from Andy Umeed and a special nine-for from Chris Woakes but we didn’t back that up.”