Skipper returns to form

Mark Stoneman

Mark Stoneman

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

DURHAM’S one-day skipper Mark Stoneman yesterday welcomed the double boost of runs for himself and a first victory in the Royal London Cup.

Stoneman made three and nought in the defeats at Taunton and Canterbury, but a half-century helped his team to a five-wicket win against Warwickshire at the South Northumberland club ground.

The team arrived back at Chester-le-Street at 6.30am following Tuesday’s defeat at Canterbury and after all the travelling Stoneman said: “It will be nice to wake up and know what day of the week it is.

“It’s a tough schedule and we had two defeats, but our culture is that no-one is allowed to feel sorry for himself for long. My own form has been disappointing, but it was just one of those runs I was on. I didn’t feel there was anything major wrong.”

Durham will probably have to do without Ben Stokes for their next match at Hove on Tuesday as he will be with England preparing for the fourth Test.

National selector James Whitaker found his way to South Northumberland just in time to see Stokes’ second over and indicated England will need an extra bowler in the squad for Old Trafford in case Jimmy Anderson is suspended.

The decision to take the match to Newcastle’s stockbroker belt paid off in terms of hospitality as the club’s indoor school hosted 480, far more than would have been expected back at base.

It was clear from the hubbub throughout that the finer points of Jonathan Trott’s high-class century were of little interest to many of the guests, but Stoneman was full of praise for the club.

“All credit to them,” he said. “It was a good pitch, the crowd have had a good day and the players enjoyed it. It won’t be my decision, but I’m sure we’d be happy to come back.”

n Adil Rashid took four wickets to continue his fine run of form yesterday, but an inexperienced Yorkshire side slipped to a 26-run one-day friendly defeat against Sri Lanka A at Headingley.

The leg-spinning allrounder returned 4-57 from ten overs as the tourists made 276-9 on a true surface in front of crowd of approximately 160.

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