Borthwick has hosts in a spin

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DURHAM spin ace Scott Borthwick was hoping the weather would not halt the county’s bid to breathe new life into their County Championship campaign today, writes Gary Foster.

The Sunderland-born star had Worcestershire in a spin at New Road yesterday, as he helped to give Durham an unexpected lead.

With the hosts having resumed on 100-2 at the start of the third day’s play, things looked ominous for Geoff Cook’s side, but a superb 4-37 from 15 overs from talented leg-spinner Borthwick turned the tide back in the visitors’ favour.

He was ably supported by fellow Wearsider Chris Rushworth, who took the last three wickets for 43 as Worcestershire crumbled from 145-2 to 205 all out.

With Durham looking to build on their lead, the heavens opened again – leaving a draw the most likely outcome today.

Borthwick said: “It’s a shame the rain came because our openers were doing really well.

“My aim was to bowl dot balls and maidens, but still try to spin it. It did turn and it was nice to bowl leg spin on it.

“It was nice to get some overs under by belt and take some wickets, it was a nice pitch to bowl on.”

While being pleased with his own display, which included the wicket of dangerman Phil Hughes (87 from 136 balls to start the Worcestershire collapse) the young spinner was quick to share the praise with his fellow bowlers.

“We struck at our task and I think we bowled really well before lunch,” he said.

Hughes’ departure came at just the right time for Durham, with the Australian threatening to take the game away from Durham.

However, when Borthwick trapped Hughes after the opener had hit 17 fours, things started to change.

The visitors were handed a double gift as Moeen Ali and Matt Pardoe both shovelled catches to Michael Richardson on the mid-wicket boundary.

And the home side lost eight wickets for just 60 runs, leaving Durham with a first innings lead of 38 runs.