Durham opener hopes to hunt down Foxes

Phil Mustard
Phil Mustard
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PHIL Mustard is hungry for more as Durham prepare to face Leicestershire Foxes in a T20 clash at Grace Road this evening (5.30pm start).

The wicket-keeper/batsman top scored for the Dynamos – who also host Nottinghamshire in the competition tomorrow – in their win over Yorkshire at Scarborough on Sunday, hitting 59 off 52 balls.

That, combined with Goron Muchall’s 44 not out, was enough to help the visitors over the line against the Tykes – the dramatic encounter ending with a four-wicket win as Durham passed the hosts’ total of 146-7 with just one ball to spare.

Sunderland-born Mustard (left) has made a decent start to the 2013 campaign, and is looking for it to continue,

He said: “It’s not every year that I get off to such a decent start in all formats, so the more runs I can get under my belt the better while it’s like this.

“T20 gives you a bit more freedom to express yourself as a batsman, so it is important to make the most of it while you can.

“Batting at the top of the order there is an onus on you to get some early runs, and put the team on the front foot.

“That can sometimes suit my game because when I get the chance to swing my arms, then that’s something I will always look to do.”

Durham are keen to show what they can do in the T20 competition, but are some way off the pace – fourth in the North Division with 1.75 points.

Leaders Derbyshire have played a game more and, having won all three of their fixtures, sit proudly at the top on six points.

Mustard isn’t too concerned by how the table looks at this stage, but admits Durham certainly have their work cut out for them.

He said: “We always want to do well in any competition, and T20 is certainly no different.

“It’s not always easy to win games in this format, because you can lose a match in the turn of an over in T20.

“But then none of the competitions are easy at this level, we know what we have to do and that is keep winning games and build some momentum, and that’s certainly what we will be trying to do.

“We have some very good players here, and on our day we can be match for anyone, hopefully we can show that in this competition.”

Mark Stoneman will again step into the breach for Durham – this time taking over as T20 skipper.

With normal T20 captain Dale Benkenstein still out injured, four-day skipper Paul Collingwood had taken over the reins in the shortest form of the game.

However, Collingwood himself has now been sidelined. The all-rounder suffered a laceration to his thumb in Durham’s win over Yorkshire, and will miss tonight’s clash and tomorrow’s T20 match at home to Nottinghamshire.

So Stoneman, who has taken up the mantle of one-day skipper from Benkenstein, will make his debut as T20 captain.

Durham are hopeful, however, that Collingwood will be back in action when Durham play host to Derbyshire in a County Championship clash, which starts on Monday.

Leicestershire go into tonight’s clash looking for their first win of the T20 competition after going down in both matches last week .

The Foxes lost by seven wickets in their first game against Nottinghamshire, and by 24 runs to Derbyshire in their second match.

Durham squad: Mark Stoneman (c), Phil Mustard, Scott Borthwick, Ben Stokes, Will Smith, Gordon Muchall, Ryan Pringle, Gareth Breese, Michael Richardson, Mark Wood, Chris Rushworth, Jamie Harrison.