Durham aiming for T20 glory

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DURHAM are determined to hit the ground running when they launch their T20 campaign at home to Lancashire Lightning on Friday.

The Dynamos have yet to experience a major success in the shortest, and most explosive, form of the game.

But that’s something they are looking to correct, and young bowler Mark Wood says the men from the Emirates ICG will be looking to make sure they are ready when Friday comes around.

“We’ve got a few practice matches and second XI games, which I think a lot of our lads will filter into in preparation for the T20s.

“The T20 competition is something we’ve talked about a lot as a group this year, and I think it’s something we feel we can do well at.

“It’s important we use that preparation time to get it right for the competition coming up.”

Wood was one of a number of Durham first-teamers fielded in a second XI in two T20 clashes with England Under-19s yesterday.

Others included Scott Borthwick, Keaton Jennings and Michael Richardson.

Durham won both games, posting 157-5 in the first match (Jennings 83 not out, Richardson 37), while England replied with 144-8.

In the second encounter, Durham restricted the Under-19s to 82-8 (Jamie Harrison 3-9 and Wood 3-21), while an unbeaten 43 from Jennings helped his side to 86-3.

Some of Durham’s more senior players could figure in a T20 match against an England XI as part of Steve Harmison’s benefit year, which takes place South Northumberland’s ground in Gosforth tomorrow.

As for Wood, he will have done his chances of getting the nod on Friday no harm with the three wickets against the England youngsters.

And he admits that both he and the rest of the squad are determined to give it their best shot.

He said: “In past years, it’s (T20) not been the most important. The Championship has been the most important, but this year we’re focused on doing really well in all the competition.

“On a personal level, I would hope I’m quite well suited to that type of cricket.”

Wood, 23, believes that Durham will look to give youth its chance in the T20 competition, and feels that could bring them the rewards they are looking for.

He added: “We’ve gone for a younger side this year, more dynamic, and the likes of Ben Stokes hits the ball a long way.

“We’re a good fielding side, we put pressure on people.

“We put pressure on Scotland and Hampshire (in recent Yorkshire Bank 40 clashes), and came out with big wins.

“In the Twenty20s I think we can do the same sort of thing.”