Durham coach not giving up on victory

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DURHAM coach Jon Lewis was still looking to push for victory today, despite losing a full day’s play to the weather.

Not a ball was bowled in anger at the Emirates ICG yesterday, as first the rain then mist made sure there was no action on day three of the County Championship clash against Somerset.

But while Lewis and his side could do nothing but write off yesterday due to the conditions, the Durham coach was in no hurry to do the same when it came to their chances of getting a positive result.

He said: “We would probably have like to get some cricket in, even if it was only a couple of hours, but there’s still enough time in the game.

“With a 270-run lead going into the last day with a couple of wickets left, hopefully we can scrape a few more runs together with Paul (Collingwood) and Jamie (Harrsion), and then give ourselves a chance to bowl them out – and there should be enough overs to do it.”

Durham resumed today on 152-7, a second innings lead of 275, with Collingwood (23) and Harrison (16) at the crease.

Lewis will be hoping they can add some quick runs, but refused to be drawn on just how many more they needed to add to that total.

“It’s a difficult to say what kind of lead we would want,” he said.

“The good thing is that when we are batting it will give us a chance to see what the ball is doing on the pitch,” he said.

“We had the chance to do that in our last game at Northampton. We saw it reverse swinging down there, and I think that with all the moisture around the pitch might do a bit today. so we are quite hopeful.”

Durham bowled the visitors out for just 185 in their first innings, but Lewis knows his side won’t have an easy ride.

“Somerset will fancy their chances of chasing if we leave them something that is manageable because they have got a very long batting line-up,” he warned.

Meanwhile, Lewis remains hopeful of Durham making a breakthrough in their pursuit of Sri Lanka star Kumar Sangakkara.

The county champions have been in negotiations with the 36-year-old over a short-term deal for some time, and Lewis is keeping his fingers crossed that an agreement which could see the wicketkeeper-batsman play in two Championship fixtures can be struck.

Lewis said: “Basically it has been holiday-time in Sri Lanka for the last 10 days and nothing has shifted, but they are back to work today.

“We would love it to happen. He’s obviously a fine player.

“I don’t think we need a lift as such, it’s just a bit of a boost to have a player of that quality come in, even if it was for a short period of time.

“If it doesn’t happen, we have tried; but if it does, it would be nice.”