Durham ready for Lord’s test

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SCOTT Borthwick is confident that Durham can break their Middlesex hoodoo when the two sides lock horns at the home of English cricket tomorrow, writes Gary Foster.

The men from the Emirates ICG go into the clash at Lord’s knowing they haven’t beaten the hosts in a County Championship away game since 1998.

But Sunderland-born spinner Borthwick, says he and his team-mates go into the match looking to the positives ahead of the trip to the historic ground.

“I played there last year for Durham, and it’s a fantastic place to play your cricket,” he said.

“It’s like every English footballer wants to play at Wembley, well Lord’s is like that for every English cricketer, so hopefully we can go there and get a good result.”

Despite not having beaten Middlesex in a four-day away clash for so long, the clash certainly doesn’t hold any fears for a Durham side going well in all formats.

Durham are third in the Championship Division One table on 129.5 points. Tomorrow’s opponents are one place and 4.5 points behind them, but have played one game more.

The Chester-le-Street based side also top Group B in the Yorkshire Bank 40 competition, and have reached the quarter-finals of the Twenty20 contest, where they will face Northants away next Tuesday.

And Borthwick says progress in all three formats has left the group feeling buoyant.

He added: “The lads are buzzing at the minute to be honest. We are through to the quarter-finals of the Twenty 20, thanks to Gloucester getting a result, but I think we have deserved it.

“We have played some very good cricket, and won our last four T20 matches.”

Durham will be boosted by the return of four-day skipper Paul Collingwood, who has been out injured, and the inclusion of strike bowler Graham Onions, who was left out of the England squad for the Third Ashes Test which started at Old Trafford today.

But England’s loss is Durham’s gain, says Borthwick.

“Bunny (Onions) is a world-class bowler, and it’s great to have back,” he said. “Hopefully, he can take a load of wickets and help us claim the win.”

Steve Finn, also left out by England, returns for Middlesex.