DURHAM must have thought their new recruit had a leprechaun on his shoulder when a long hop by Peter Chase secured the crucial breakthrough in yesterday’s 54-run win at home to Nottinghamshire.
Wicketless in the first innings, the Irish debutant had taken his maiden scalp with something similar on Tuesday, and this time dangerman Riki Wessels pulled a catch straight to deep mid-wicket to depart for 90.
Chase admitted the wicket gave his confidence a big boost and shortly afterwards took two wickets in two balls to leave the title chasers staring down the barrel.
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With Nottinghamshire on 285 for nine lunch was delayed.
But in the extra half hour Durham missed two chances to catch last man Gary Keedy and visiting captain Chris Read moved on to 47 before John Hastings bowled him in the last over before the break.
Having resumed on 197 for four, still needing 178, Nottinghamshire were all out for 320 and must now pick themselves up for Saturday’s Royal London Cup semi-final at the same venue.
Ben Stokes will replace Chase for that match, although the Dubliner will hang around as he is not required for Ireland’s matches against Scotland next week.
Calum MacLeod has been called up and will miss Durham’s match at Lord’s, starting on Tuesday.
Durham coach Jon Lewis said: “It was a very good performance and a very important win, which we needed because the defeat at Old Trafford was a real kick in the guts.
“Winning in any form of the game brings momentum and our cup quarter-final win at Headingley was massive. It will also help going into Saturday’s semi-final.
“Mark Wood will bowl on Friday in practice and will play for the second team next week. Phil Mustard will also practise on Friday but he has a lot to do to prove his fitness for Saturday. It’s an important game and he has to be right.”
Chase is not particularly quick but hits the pitch quite hard and said: “Durham have told me not worry about the technicalities but to use my height and bowl as fast as I can.”
After Wessels’ exit James Franklin, who had helped to add 99 for the fifth wicket, pushed lazily forward to a ball from Paul Coughlin which nipped in slightly and had him lbw.
The New Zealander departed with a long stare at umpire Jeff Evans, who certainly could not be accused of being trigger happy during the match.
Read was quickly underway with a four through backward point off Chase and followed up with an on drive off Coughlin which disappeared under the rolled-up covers used to protect the square.
It took four players several minutes to locate it and as it was soaking wet the umpires agreed to change it, which may have worked in Durham’s favour as Chase took two wickets in two balls.
A hint of in-swing found Ajmal Shahzad’s inside edge on the way to wicketkeeper Michael Richardson then Luke Fletcher pushed half forward and was lbw.
That reduced Nottinghamshire to 241 for eight, still 133 behind. Jake Ball helped to put on 44 with Read before Chase had him caught at third slip and Nottinghamshire would have been all out for 290 had Chris Rushworth held a return catch before Keedy had scored.
Keedy enjoyed another life when he was dropped by Paul Collingwood at first slip on eight. Had that stuck Chase would have joined James Brinkley as the only bowlers to take a six-wicket haul on debut for Durham.
But he was happy with his bag and said: “I hope I’ve done enough to earn another crack.”
Durham v Nottinghamshire
At Emirates Durham ICG
Overnight: Durham 253 (M J Richardson
73, M D Stoneman 55) and 309 (P
DCollingwood 100; G Keedy 4-86).
Nottinghamshire 188 (J W Hastings
4-64) and197-4 (M H Wessels 77 no, M
J Lumb 58).
Nottinghamshire Second Innings
M H Wessels c Muchall b Chase.......90
J E Franklin lbw b Couglin....................39
C M Read b Hastings............................ 47
A Shahzad c Richardson b Chase ....... 6
L J Fletcher lbw b Chase ........................ 0
J T Ball c Muchall b Chase...................20
G Keedy not out...................................... 15
Extras (b5 lb4 w1 nb4 pens 0) 14
Total (89.3 overs).............. 320
Fall: 1-22 2-45 3-66 4-121 5-220 6-228
7-241 8-241 9-285
Total Bonus Pts: Durham 5
Rushworth 22-6-54-1. Hastings 21.3-4-
72-2. Couglin 18-4-76-2. Collingwood
6-3-22-0. Borthwick 5-0-23-0. Chase
Durham (21pts) beat Nottinghamshire (3pts) by 54 runs
- Johann Myburgh celebrated the signing of a two-year contract by guiding Somerset to a draw against Northamptonshire. The 33-year-old South African made 87 as the hosts closed on 235 for six in their second innings, leading by 101 runs as David Willey took three for 47.