Durham sign up Hastings

John Hastings.
John Hastings.
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DURHAM have bolstered their squad with the signing of Australian international John Hastings.

Hastings will join the club as overseas player for the coming season, as the men from the Emirates ICG look to defend their County Championship crown.

The 28-year-old – who is known as “The Duke” – will be available for all forms of cricket.

That will be a massive boost to a depleted Durham squad, who parted company with a number of experienced first-teamers at the end of last season.

They also look likely to lose Ben Stokes to England duty for much of the campaign.

A strong bowling all-rounder, Durham hope Hastings will bring real experience with the ball – and firepower – to the lower order with the bat.

Speaking about the county’s new signing, first-team coach Jon Lewis said: “We are excited about the arrival of John, he is skilful with the ball, and can also contribute well with the bat.

“He will be a strong addition with the red and white ball, and we look forward to welcoming him to Durham”

Hastings will join up with Durham after his commitments in the Indian Premier League with the Chennai Superkings, one of the IPL’s most successful franchises.

Despite coming through the New South Wales coaching system, Hastings moved to Victoria and made his First Class debut in 2007.

He boasts some impressive stats in first-class cricket with 119 wickets for Victoria at only 26.00, and has represented Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash.

Hastings made his Australia debut in 2010, and has played 11 One Day Internationals, three International T20s, and has his baggy green after playing a Test for Australia against South Africa in 2012.

H Ireland won a dramatic World Twenty20 clash against Zimbabwe with a bye off the final ball as they got their campaign off to a victorious start on St Patrick’s Day yesterday.

After being set 164 for victory, they looked like they would reach their total comfortably with man of the match Paul Stirling hitting 60 off 34 balls.

But after losing two wickets in the final over, Ireland’s luck was almost running out before Alex Cusack ran on a bye on the last ball and Zimbabwe skipper Brendan Taylor failed to hit the stumps, with Stuart Thompson colliding with a Zimbabwe fielder as the Irish claimed a three-wicket win in the Group B clash in Sylhet.

Meanwhile, Stephan Myburgh hit a half-century as Holland claimed a six-wicket victory over the United Arab Emirates in their opening clash.

The Dutch, who were set a 152 to win, made it look easy as they overcame their target with seven balls remaining thanks to Myburgh’s knock of 55, with man-of-the-match Tom Cooper unbeaten on 34 runs as he saw Holland over the finish line for a total of 152-4.