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Harrison goes from Jeremy Kyle repeats to Durham's frontline
THINGS did not go quite as well for Jamie Harrison yesterday as on the previous day, but at 22 he is already well aware of life's ups and downs.
After completing his maiden five-wicket haul on Saturday, the left-arm swing bowler recalled how he went from playing first-class cricket last summer to watching daytime television.
The Sedbergh School product took four for 112 on his debut at Taunton in May last year and followed up with two more good performances before breaking down with shin splints.
"I went from playing first-class cricket to sitting on the sofa watching Jeremy Kyle double bills," he said. "The memory of that on dark winter days was what kept me going to the swimming pool for an hour at 6am and 10pm.
"I didn't want to go from such a high to such a low again. I also put in a lot of work with Durham's conditioning coach, Mike King, and now I feel strong, which I think has helped me to keep my pace more consistent."
In fact, he looks a shade quicker than last season and while he generally pitches the ball up and swings it into the right-handers, he also showed he can achieve good bounce.
Having picked up two wickets on Friday, Harrison took three of Surrey's remaining four when play began an hour late on Saturday to finish with five for 31.
When Surrey resumed on 97 for six acting captain Gareth Batty slapped a low catch to Mark Stoneman at point off Chris Rushworth in the second over.
Harrison did the rest, pinning Chris Tremlett lbw before twice hitting Tim Linley on the boot with swinging yorkers. Why the first lbw appeal was not upheld only Michael Gough knows, but he couldn't turn down the second.
Last man Jade Dernbach decided a wild swing was his best option, only to lose his off stump.
It had taken only 4.4 overs to wrap up the innings and when Surrey followed on left-hander Arun Harinath shuffled across in the fourth over and was bowled round his legs by Harrison.
"The plan was to bowl at off stump," he said. "But both left-handers were getting well across so I got a bit greedy and bowled one a bit straighter."
So well was Harrison bowling that it was a surprise he didn't continue after lunch, when Usman Arshad, known to his team-mates as Benny, replaced him and was hit for two fours in his opening over by Hashim Amla.
But he took wickets with the first two balls of his second over. An edged drive by left-hander Rory Burns was caught by Scott Borthwick at second slip, then Vikram Solanki gloved a leg-side catch to Phil Mustard.
"I was a bit disappointed not to continue after lunch because I always want to bowl," said Harrison. "But Benny came on and did a great job.
"I've played a lot with him and Keaton Jennings and Mark Wood and it's great that we're all getting a chance.
"The main thing for me this season has been staying on the pitch. It was just a matter of being patient and waiting for my chance.
"I had a couple of weeks with Stockton when I hit my straps and really felt I was back to bowling a good line and length."
Harrison admitted that when Hashim Amla came to the crease he tried to forget that he was bowling to the world's best batsman.
But he was left in little doubt of Amla's ability yesterday when the South African kept tucking swinging deliveries away through mid-wicket.
It may have brought Harrison back down to earth, but Saturday's on-lookers had every reason to believe that Durham have unearthed another Simon Brown.