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Zaidi is infuriated by Stokes’ sledging
BEN STOKES risked another slap on the wrist yesterday, when Durham’s minds appeared to be swirling as much as the fog which restricted play at Hove.
As a passionate and committed cricketer, Stokes clearly didn’t enjoy being slapped around by 32-year-old Pakistani Ashar Zaidi, playing his second game for Sussex after receiving a British passport.
When Stokes finally had the left-hander caught at second slip for 45 he sent him on his way with a few words, which prompted Zaidi to speak to the umpires.
They, in turn, spoke to Durham skipper Paul Collingwood, who is all too familiar with the amount of sledging which goes on in Ashes combat, of which Stokes hopes to be a part this winter.
Collingwood, by all accounts, used to give as good as he got and would not be unduly concerned about a brief spat in a meaningless end-ofseason county match, in which he at one point posted himself at fine leg yesterday morning.
Stokes, however, will not want another reprimand after the one he received recently for bowling an unintentional beamer in a one-day international.
Only two balls were bowled in Durham’s second innings shortly after lunch before the mist closed in. Although the umpires waited until 5pm before making a decision, there was no further play, sparing Durham from the possibility of a two-day defeat.
They trailed by 164 after allowing Sussex to rattle along to 328, Graham Onions taking the final wicket to finish with three for 103 in 20 overs after having two for five after two.
Luke Wright hit him for two fours and there was also a noball in his first over of the day, which set the tone as the champions slipped well below their recent standards.
Wright had made 87 off 78 balls when Chris Rushworth brought one back to splatter leg and middle stumps.
Zaidi emerged to hook the next ball for six behind square. He has played as a professional for Accrington for the last three years and has apparently been around a bit.
Also a left-arm spinner, he is clearly too good a batsman to be coming in at No 8 and he also handed out some punishment to Usman Arshad, whose first over of the day cost ten runs.
Stokes was Durham’s most threatening bowler, but his frustrations mounted when a miscued hook by Ben Brown, which could have gone anywhere, flew to fine leg for four.
Brown made 64 before driving Scott Borthwick to Stokes at short extra cover and there was a second wicket for the leg-spinner when Chris Jordan edged to slip.
Borthwick also held on at second slip to get rid of Zaidi and Steve Magoffin, giving him 28 catches for the season.
Despite his excellent allround form he was not in the England Performance Squad announced this week, but claimed he didn’t expect to be.
“I’ve been in it for two years and have spoken to the ECB coaches,” he said. “I think they are going to find me a team to play for in Australia this winter to get some overs in. England Lions are going away at the end of January, so I hope to be involved in that.”
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