DURHAM expect to finally recall Graham Onions after a two-month absence for the championship match at home to Warwickshire, starting on Sunday.
He was in the squad for this week’s match at Headingley, during which Durham’s struggles saw them slip back into third from bottom spot.
They decided not to risk recalling two pacemen from injury in the same match, leaving Onions to work on his fitness every day while Mark Wood made a big impression when it was already almost too late.
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He suddenly produced a lethal burst of four for four in 11 balls as Yorkshire slipped from 270 without loss to 291 for five before going on to reach 426.
With the new ball almost due, Wood found some swing at high pace to bowl two batsmen and gain two lbw verdicts before finishing with five for 87.
Wood admitted he had found his injuries “hugely frustrating”
after missing the start of the season with a side injury then needing to have a cyst removed from an ankle.
“I’m sick of being on the sidelines,”
he said. “It’s hard to get your rhythm when you don’t play a lot, but I improved as the day went on.
I’d bowled a lot round the wicket at the left-handers and had tried everything, so I thought I’d go over the wicket and suddenly found some swing.”
Wood’s figures had read none for 70 when England selector Mick Newell departed, but the Ashington paceman can expect a place in the England Lions squad for a one-day series against the New Zealand Sri Lanka A teams.
That comes while the counties are contesting the new 50- over event, the Royal London Cup, and Scott Borthwick will also hope to be involved.
He had a coaching session with Shane Warne at Lord’s last week and was on for the 22nd over of the match at Headingley after not bowling at all in the previous game against Sussex.
It was Borthwick who made the breakthrough in the eighth over after tea when he had Alex Lees lbw for 108, but his only other wicket came when Ryan Sidebottom holed out at deep mid-wicket to end a last-wicket stand of 45 with Jack Brooks.
Wood had at least spared some of Paul Collingwood’s blushes after the captain put Yorkshire in on a sunny morning, only for Lees and Adam Lyth to have 145 on the board by lunch.
Durham had bowled poorly but tightened up, only to find the left-handed pair responded diligently, content to add 86 in the afternoon.
Lyth began the evening session by driving Wood for three fours through the off side in the first over, but became the paceman’s first victim when he fell lbw for 143.
READY FOR RETURN: Graham OnionGraham Onion
On the second day Durham had reached 50 for one when rain ended play in early afternoon, but the third day was sunny and they were dismissed for 231, with Collingwood left stranded on 64.
Keaton Jennings made 56 and the rest floundered against disciplined bowling, which included an impressive performance from leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who took four for 73.
Durham had to follow on 195 behind on a surface which wasn’t getting any flatter, casting further doubt on the wisdom of Collingwood’s decision to bowl first.
Durham and Yorkshire meet again this evening in a crucial NatWest T20 Blast match at Chester-le-Street. Both still have a chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals by finishing in the top four of the northern group.