DURHAM youngster Mark Wood must be wishing he could play at Trent Bridge every week.
The young bowler has made three County Championship appearances for his side – all at the home of Nottinghamshire.
And Wood has delivered each time.
Last season, the Ashington-born bowler weighed in with 5-78 to help Durham to a 16-run victory.
Yesterday he came up trumps with bat and ball.
Wood made an unbeaten 58, and reached his maiden Championship half-century in style with a pulled six. He also shared a 71-run partnership with fellow bowler Graham Onions as Durham were all out for 471, and a lead of 151.
And if that wasn’t enough, Wood then took 3-36 with the ball, claiming the wickets of Ed Cowans, James Taylor and Samit Patel.
Wood admitted that Trent Bridge is something of a happy hunting ground for him, but would also like a chance to shine elsewhere.
“I’m pretty pleased to play here. To be honest, it’s the only place I get a game,” he said.
“The wicket is very different to Chester-le-Street, which seems to do a bit more, while Trent Bridge tends to reverse swing.
“I think that’s one of the things Colly (skipper Paul Colingwood) looks for when bringing me into the team.
“It was nice to bat on this wicket and take a few wickets at the end. Hopefully, I can get a few for more and push my case to stay in the side, but let’s just do the business here and leave selection to Geoff (Cook, Durham’s head coach).
While delighted with his own display, Wood was keen to point out the effort of opening batsman Will Smith.
Having ground his way to a century on day two, Smith resumed yesterday on 119, and when he eventually fell for 158 – caught by Luke Fletcher off Patel – he had spent almost nine hours at the crease.
Wood said: “Will Smith was absolutely outstanding. His knock set the foundations and made it easier for me and Bunny (Onions) to put on a partnership at the end.
“He showed great concentration, and I can’t praise him enough for what he had done. His innings is the difference between the two teams, and I think that is why we are now favourites to win this game.”
Durham are certainly in the driving seat, with Gareth Breese and Chris Rushworth each taking a wicket to add to Wood’s three second-innings scalps.
At the close yesterday, Notts were 145-5, still six runs short of Durham first innings total.
However, Wood is taking nothing for granted. “I’d like to think that we can go on to win the game,” he said.
“But this wicket is still a good one to bat on, and they have also still got Michael Lumb (77 not out) in. We know we have still got work to do.
“One of the biggest threats in this team is that we’ve got bowlers who bowl with pace and reverse it.
“On this wicket, someone who can bowl straight and reverse it is deadly.”