SCOTT Borthwick’s unbeaten 97 helped Durham coast to a six-wicket win against LV= County Championship leaders Sussex at Chester-le-Street.
Borthwick, who was 24 last week, showed great maturity as he followed knocks of 94 and 51 not out at Taunton by making light of what threatened to be a tricky task when Durham resumed with 147 needed and eight wickets standing.
The difference proved to be the greater depth of the Durham attack as Ajmal Shahzad ploughed a lone furrow, taking all four wickets to go with his four in the first innings and take his season’s tally to 22 in three games.
Oliver Robinson could hardly be expected to sustain his dream debut, and although he beat Borthwick three times in one over the left-hander responded by hitting him for three fours in his next.
When Michael Richardson lost his leg stump to Shahzad in the day’s fourth over, the contest was still in the balance.
Calum MacLeod, originally signed as a T20 specialist last year, took 25 balls to get off the mark. He succeeded in seeing off the dangerous Shahzad and opened his account by driving Matt Hobden to the cover boundary.
He edged Hobden past Ed Joyce’s left ear at first slip on seven and went on to make 26 before attempting an upper cut, which flew straight to third man.
Paul Collingwood joined Borthwick for the final 10 minutes before lunch and made light of knocking off the remaining runs, scoring 35 not out off 44 balls.
Borthwick hit two fours off the first two balls of a Robinson over to complete the task, leaving Robinson with no wickets for 76 runs in 14.2 overs.
The result means Durham are now only five points behind Sussex, who had also won their first two matches, with a game in hand.