Paul Collingwood praises Durham efforts despite more last over heartache

Chris Rushworth
Chris Rushworth

Durham skipper Paul Collingwood said he couldn’t fault his players after they came agonisingly close to getting their first Championship win of the season on the board.

Kent’s 10th wicket partners Yasir Shah and Mitch Claydon saw out the final 46 balls of the match to secure a thrilling Division Two draw in Canterbury.

Shah, on his home debut, batted for 81 minutes while last man Claydon – a former Durham player – combined to deny Paul Collingwood’s side their first win and clinch a battling draw.

After losing in final over heartache in their last two games, against Glamorgan and Northants, it looked like Durham would be on the right end of late drama yesterday.

but they couldn’t get over the line, and Collingwood – while happy with his team’s efforts – admitted the bowling is ‘a concern’.

He said: “It’s been exciting cricket these past three games because they’ve all gone down to the final over. That’s a great experience for these young lads.

“It would have been great to win of course, but I can’t fault any of our efforts here.

“We kept battling, trying to wear Kent down, but in the end they stood firm and made it hard for us to get the last wicket.

“We tried, in-swing, away swing and a bit of spin, but they stood firm, particularly Shah who we struggled to get out in the first innings. He looks a decent player to be coming in down the order.

“We’ve done nothing wrong in this match, we’ve pretty much dominated all the way through. But you have to take 20 wickets to win.

“We’ve only done that once this season and that’s a concern.”

Required to bat all day to maintain their unbeaten status in the division, Kent lost three wickets in each of the opening two sessions leave the door ajar for a Durham win.

In the final session, Chris Rushworth struck twice and when Matthew Potts, the 18-year-old Durham Academy graduate, grabbed his maiden championship wicket on his first team debut by dismissing Matt Coles, Durham were on the verge of victory.

But Shah held firm to deny Collingwood and Co.