SPINNER Scott Borthwick was hoping Durham could tighten the screw on Sussex today as the men from the Emirates ICG search for their first County Championship win of the season.
Borthwick was a key figure in helping the visitors to a first innings total of 231 all out at Arundel – which saw them pick up only their ninth batting point of the campaign – and now he is hoping to do his bit with the ball.
His fellow bowlers certainly did their bit yesterday, restricting the hosts to 100-3 at the close of play on day two.
And Borthwick believes that more success will follow, if the Durham bowling attack keep their focus.
“If our seamers can stay patient and get the ball in the right areas we’re definitely in with a chance,” he said.
“There’s still a bit in the pitch, so hopefully we can take more early wickets.”
That Durham have any hope of securing a first innings lead, and a possible first four-day win of 2012 is due in no small part to the batting efforts of Sunderland-born Borthwick.
The youngster hit six boundaries on his way to his first half-century of the season, and admitted that it was nice to get some runs under his belt.
“It was my first 50 of the season, and it was nice to spend some time in the middle and score some runs,” he said.
“When Benks (Dale Benkenstein) and Thorpy (Calum Thorp) got out, me and Mitch (Claydon) decided that we needed to bat positively and that’s what we did.
“I thought once I got in it became a lot easier, when I first got in it was a bit two-paced and was nipping around a bit.”
Borthwick and Claydon put up stiff resistance against the Sussex bowling attack, sharing a ninth-wicket partnership of 55 runs in 10 overs.
The visitors fell short of the total needed for their next batting bonus point, but Borthwick believes they could have enough runs on the board.
He said: “It’s a shame that we didn’t get to 250 for that extra batting point, but I still think 230 is a good score.”
Chris Rushworth, making only his third Championship appearance of the season, began the Sussex innings with four maidens and also picked up the wicket of Nash who was leg-before to a ball that nipped back.
Thorp then struck twice after tea, defeating Joe Gatting’s push before producing a beauty which left Luke Wells off the pitch and clipped his off stump after the left-hander had struck seven fours in his 41.