CENTURION Mark Stoneman was delighted to record his first County Championship ton of the season away to Sussex yesterday.
But the batsman insisted his effort was more about doing it for the team than personal glory.
He said: “We’ve spoken a lot recently about being as tough as we can, and trying not to give things away to the opposition as easily as we have in the last few games, so I was trying to stay there, occupy the crease and value partnerships as much as possible.
“It wasn’t about personal glory, it was a case of getting the job done to get as many as we could on the board.”
Stoneman adopted a studious approach, and worked hard hard to reach a career-best 128 from 254 balls, with 19 fours and a six.
It was the Durham man’s second century against the hosts – the first coming back in 2007, and it was nice to get another under his belt.
“It’s four years since my last championship century, and it’s one of those things that the longer it goes on, it does play on your mind a bit,” he said.
“I’ve had half centuries, but I’ve not gone on to get three figures, so to finally get there is down to a lot of hard work paying off.
“I feel that I’m a bit older now, and I’m more sure of my game and how I approach it. I’m not trying to vary my style of innings, I’m just going out there to score runs.”
Having won the toss, Durham chose to bat on a slowish pitch and were made to work for their runs.
A fourth-wicket partnership between Stoneman and Benkenstein of 99 runs in 30 overs did give the visitors’ innings some impetus, the latter contributing 64 off 99 deliveries with 10 fours before being run out.
A 33-run undefeated cameo from bowler Callum Thorp saw Durham reach 360-9 at the close, with Graham Onions not out on 11 at the other end.
South African Wayne Parnell, claimed the wickets of Stoneman, Paul Collingwood (38), and Mitch Claydon in his 3-17 from 24 overs.
James Anyon, also claimed three scalps taking 3-111 from his 22 overs.