Ton-up Paul Collingwood hails bowlers as Durham seek welcome first Championship win

Durham captain Paul Collingwood
Durham captain Paul Collingwood

Skipper Paul Collingwood was thrilled by another good day for Durham against Kent at Canterbury yesterday.

After posting 448 in their first innings, the bottom-of-the-table visitors reduced their hosts to 123-8 before they rallied to reach 211-8 at the close on day two of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash.

Collingwood will hope to build on the promising start to secure a first win of the season.

He said: “We needed to take wickets with the new ball and we managed that.

“Hopefully we can nip out their last two wickets tomorrow and force home our advantage. We needed a couple of days like this and this performance could yet make the rest of our season.”

Collingwood made 120 in Durham’s innings, and the 41-year-old added: “I’d like to think this proves that age is just a number.

“I was delighted to get my ton because I’ve enjoyed playing here down the years.

“Then, the partnership between Rushy (Chris Rushworth) and Benny (Barry McCarthy) got us up to a score we’re really pleased with and I’m happy for Chris, who is really chuffed with a career-best 57.”

In explaining his ‘zimmer frame celebration’ upon reaching three figures, he said: “I just thought I’d have a bit of fun and pretend I’d got a zimmer frame out there.

“A lot of people go on about hindering you in sport, but I’m still enjoying the challenge of professional sport.”

He was dismissed by fellow veteran Darren Stevens and said: “Stevo is a real canny bowler, not too much pace, but his accuracy is incredible and he has good skills.

“When you have a bowler who’ll hot the top of off stump five out of six deliveries he is likely to take wickets and that’s exactly what Stevo does.”

As for Stevens, he said: “We let ourselves down badly with the bat.

“It’s a good pitch and there’s not really a lot going on.

“It was key to get through the new ball and we didn’t. It wasn’t a great shot of mine, the ball got a little stuck in the pitch, and instead of hitting it, I ended up just pushing it to the man at point.

“Sam (Northeast, who ended the day unbeaten on 97), played brilliantly for us though and Yasir Shah too, his 37 was outstanding.

“Overall, they bowled well and we played some lax shots.

“That’s maybe understandable as we’d just spent a day-and-a-half in the dirt fielding, but this is first-class cricket and if we want to play in the top tier we have to be better than what we were today.”