Durham are in need of a boost

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DURHAM go into tomorrow’s County Championship clash with Somerset in desperate need of a boost.

Geoff Cook’s side are bottom of the Division One table on 22 points and having not won a four-day game so far this term.

Their early-season misery continued yesterday as they lost to Surrey Sabres in the Clydesdale Bank 40 by 60 runs.

Once again the Durham batsmen failed to fire, which stand-in skipper Paul Collingwood admitted was another blow.

He said: “Obviously we’re disappointed to lose the game. I think during the game we did a lot of good things. But we probably got the worst of the wicket, losing the toss and batting second.”

Collingwood, who has taken over the reins as one-day skipper for the injured Dale Benkenstein, made 32 before falling victim to Gareth Batty.

And the all-rounder – one of only two Durham batsmen to score more than 30 yesterday (Gordon Muchall top scored with 41) – felt his side needed at least one player to go on to get a good total if they were to have any chance.

“One of the lessons we’ve got to get out of the game is that we’ve got to get one of the batsmen to go on and get 70 or 80 to win those kind of games,” he said.

“We thought we had a chance, but we weren’t good enough. We never seemed to get the boundaries when we needed them.”

With the ball, Mitch Claydon was Durham’s star man, claiming 3-58 from his eight overs, while Graham Onions, Scott Borthwick and Gareth Breese took one apiece.

Dynamos managed to restrict the hosts to 221-7, with Tom Maynard (77) and Zafar Ansari (60) proving the danger men.

In reply, Durham never really got going, losing wickets at regular intervals.

A mid-inning partnership between Muchall and Collingwood saw the duo put on 61 in 14 overs to give their side hope. But even before Gareth Breese was stretchered off the field with a torn calf, the visitors looked dead and buried.

And so it proved with Durham all out for 161.

Now, the men from the Emirates must dust themselves down and switch attentions to the four-day format.

Cook’s side face Somerset at Taunton tomorrow (11am start) knowing that they cannot allow their poor championship form to continue for much longer.

Tomorrow’s hosts are 39 points ahead of Durham in the league table. The pair met in the championship at the Emirates ICG just under a fortnight ago, ending in a rain-affected draw, but Somerset looked to be in the box seat.

England man Craig Kieswetter proved a real danger hitting 96 in Somerset’s only innings, and will need to be stopped if Durham are to have any hopes of registering their maiden win in the competition.