Durham’s Jennings remains focused

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DURHAM’S Keaton Jennings is determined to stay focused no matter what the weather or the Nottinghamshire bowling attack decides to throw at him.

The ducks on the Trent Bridge outfield were thankfully of the feathered variety as the visitors reached 78-2 with Jennings and South Shields-born Gordon Muchall both reached 24 not out.

But the wet weather meant an early lunch was taken, and no play was possible after that as Durham looked to make inroads into the home side’s first innings total of 377 all out.

And while the wet weather was frustrating, Jennings isn’t going to overly concern himself with the time lost at the crease.

He said: “I’m quite an active person, I like to be out their in the middle, and trying to get stuck in, so to sit on the side and watch rain fall isn’t ideal.

“But you can’t control the weather, so you play a little bit of cards, occupy your time, and stay focused to make sure you’re ready to go back out when the time comes.”

Jennings came in for some treatment from the home bowlers, and was struck by a couple of deliveries.

But the batsman is relishing the challenge, if not the bruises it brings.

“Peter Siddle hit me on the shoulder and the ball then went on to hit me on the head, but as they say ‘no brain, no pain’, he joked.

“They are playing with four seamers who have all played Test cricket, so to come up against that as a 21-year-old is good challenge to try to stand up against.”

Jennings had his share of luck in the 25 overs of play managed yesterday, being put down twice.

One of those chance came of the bowling of New Zealan international Andre Adams, and Jennings was quick to pay tribute to his opponent.

He said: “Andre is a really good bowler, and it was a really good ball.

“It would have been a really good catch from James Taylor, but Andre is a really good bowler and to batting against him at this stage of his career is a privilege.”

It wasn’t just the balls and catching opportunities flying at Trent Bridge, with some verbals aimed at Jennings.

The batsman survived an appeal as umpire Neil Mallender ruled the ball had hit his arm, although Jennings’ reaction didn’t find favour with the opposition bowling attack.

He explained: “The ball stood up off a length and hit me on the arm.

“I got a little bit of stick for rubbing it, but it hurt and I didn’t do it to try to get the decision. It just stung a bit.

“When you’ve got skinny arms like me it tends to sting when it hits you on the bone.

The two Durham wickets to fall yesterday, were those of Mark Stoneman, caught behind for 23, while Michael Richardson was bowled for four, both victims of Ajmal Shahzad.