Surrey V Durham
YB 40 League

DURHAM are almost certain to be without star all-rounder Ben Stokes in the championship match against Surrey starting today after he suffered a back injury in pulling off a miraculous catch at the Oval last night.

To add to Durham’s woes rain prevented them from batting after they had done extremely well to dismiss Surrey for 216 in the floodlit Yorkshire Bank 40 match.

Back-pedalling at deep midoff, Stokes almost performed a backward somersault as he leapt to pluck the ball out of the air to get rid of Jason Roy for 117 and had to be stretchered off.

Coach Geoff Cook said: “He landed awkwardly and hurt his lower back. He was taken to a nearby hospital for scans and has suffered some ligament damage.

“It was a really unfair reward for a brilliant catch. He will be assessed again tomorrow, but he’s very sore and stiff so there’s a minimal chance of him playing in the championship match.

Gareth Breese is also out with a sore side, so Ryan Buckley will make his debut.”

Stokes later tweeted: “Good news from hospital but still sore,on the bus back with the lads...just have to deal with walking like John Wayne for a bit.’’ Stokes had already suffered some pain in the field when stopping a blistering cover drive by Vikram Solanki.

After taking two for 28 he still had two overs to bowl and when Scott Borthwick was recalled in his place two long hops were smashed to the boundary before Surrey were all out with 15 balls unused.

They gave meagre support to 22-year-old Roy, who came into the team only when South Africa captain Graeme Smith decided he needed to return home for ankle surgery.

Smith had shared an opening stand of 162 in 20.3 overs with Steven Davies in Monday’s thrashing of Hampshire, so when Davies perished in yesterday’s third over Durham were doubly delighted.

In racing to 18 Davies had pulled Mark Wood’s fourth ball for six over the short boundary, opposite which a dozen spectators sat beneath the famous gas holder about 80 yards from the action.

Davies departed when he chipped Chris Rushworth to mid-off, possibly deceived by the lack of pace as the bowler was battling into the strong wind.

Rushworth’s first three overs were costly but he cleaned up at the end to finish with four for 44 after Paul Collingwood turned the game.

Coming on as the seventh bowler with the score on 136 for two after 23 overs, he gained lbw decisions with his third and sixth balls and conceded only 17 runs in his first five overs.

Right-hander Roy, who was born in South Africa but has been in Surrey since he was ten, relied mainly on orthodox strokeplay, although his most impressive shot was a shortarm pull off Collingwood which scorched to the boundary in front of mid-wicket.

Once past his 101-ball century Roy began to improvise, stepping across to the off side to flip a straight ball to fine leg as he took 12 off Collingwood’s sixth over.

He received poor support, however, with Zander de Bruyn scratching around for 41 balls to contribute 24 to the third-wicket stand of 75.

As in Monday’s win at Old Trafford, Dale Benkenstein chose to field first under scudding clouds and the only change from the side which beat Lancashire saw Will Smith come in for Breese.

The need for at least two specialist spinners, with Surrey playing three, meant Ryan Pringle was retained at the expense of Mitch Claydon, who was in the squad for the first time this season.

Pringle bowled four overs for 23 runs, while Borthwick’s five cost 37 as he struggled to hit a consistent length.

Rain had always looked likely and it duly arrived shortly after Surrey’s innings was completed.


Surrey v Durham

At The Kia Oval. Durham Won Toss
Surrey Innings
S M Davies c Benkenstein b Rushworth 16
J J Roy c Stokes b Rushworth ............117
V S Solanki c Mustard b Stokes ............18
Z de Bruyn lbw b Collingwood ............24
G C Wilson lbw b Collingwood ............ 0
Z S Ansari run out .............................. 9
T Jewell lbw b Rushworth ................... 1
G J Batty b Stokes .............................. 2
J Lewis not out ..................................24
J W Dernbach c Collingwood b Borthwick .. 0
G Keedy lbw b Rushworth .................. 0
Extras (lb3 w2 pens 0) ...............5
Total (37.3 overs) ...................216
Fall: 1-18 2-62 3-137 4-137 5-167 6-168
7-174 8-200 9-210
Bowling: W R Smith 1-0-6-0. Wood 8-0-43-
0. Rushworth 7.3-1-44-4. Stokes 6-0-28-2.
Borthwick 5-0-37-1. Pringle 4-0-23-0.
Collingwood 6-0-32-2.