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Unlikely heroes win it for Durham
THE unlikely combination of Usman Arshad and Mitch Claydon bowled Durham a big step closer to the county title yesterday, when they beat spineless Sussex by 285 runs.
They owed their place in the team to the injuries suffered by Mark Wood, Jamie Harrison and Callum Thorp, plus the absence of Ben Stokes on England one-day duty.
Bradford-born Arshad was drafted into the Durham Academy three years ago after being spotted by coach Geoff Cook playing for Saltaire Under 16s in a youth tournament.
In both his first-class appearances so far he has taken two wickets in two balls with his brisk swingers and had figures of 7-3-6-3 yesterday until Australian Steve Magoffin swung the bat and took 12 off his final over.
Magoffin’s 20 off 16 balls provided token resistance as the last nine wickets went down for 64 and his exit was another triumph for youth as Keaton Jennings leapt to parry the ball at backward point and caught it as he fell.
Claydon took three for 31, giving him six wickets in the match, two more than he took in three second division games for Kent during his three-month loan spell.
Whether he gets another chance to say farewell to Durham before his permanent move to Canterbury depends on the fitness of Harrison and Wood, with Arshad looking the more likely to keep his place.
He began the day with some hearty swipes after he and Phil Mustard were given the licence to go for quick runs as Durham sought to get the lead up from the overnight 345 to 400.
They achieved that in 40 minutes, although both batsmen perished in the process.
Mustard holed out at deep mid-on for 73 and Arshad at deep square leg for 34, both off James Anyon, giving him four wickets in each innings.
Sussex briefly succeeded in delaying Durham’s charge towards a declaration when they complained about the ball ten deliveries before the new one was available.
The umpires changed it and Claydon pulled the next ball for four on his way to 12 not out. He was called in an over later as soon as the lead reached 400 with the score on 268 for eight.
Luke Wells turned the second ball of Sussex’s second innings through square leg for four then pushed forward to the next and edged Graham Onions to second slip, where Scott Borthwick held a sharp catch.
There seemed to be few problems in the next 15 overs for Chris Nash and Mike Yardy, but once Claydon struck in the first over of a spell for the third time in the match the resistance crumbled.
Nine runs came off his first five balls but then he went round the wicket and had Yardy lbw with a ball of almost yorker length which straightened slightly as the left-hander shaped to play to leg.
Yardy made 25 and Nash went on to score 38 before he was also lbw to Claydon, playing across a full-length ball which swung in slightly.
Magoffin was the only other batsman to score more than six, Arshad gaining lbw verdicts with successive balls against youngsters Harry Finch and Will Beer, who bagged a pair.
Onions passed 50 championship wickets for the season by taking three for 38 and the luckless Chris Rushworth gained his only wicket of the match when Ben Brown shouldered arms to become one of the five lbw victims in the innings.
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