Durham to open at home against Somerset

Durham County Cricket Club head coach Geoff Cook
Durham County Cricket Club head coach Geoff Cook
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DURHAM coach Geoff Cook knows his side will have their work cut out when they open their 2013 County Championship campaign against Somerset on April 10.

DURHAM coach Geoff Cook knows his side will have their work cut out when they open their 2013 County Championship campaign against Somerset on April 10.

Somerset were runners-up in the competition this year, and Cook says they will have the hunger to go one better this time around.

He said: “Somerset have a very strong squad with a good mix of lots of international players, past and present.

“They also have a lot of promising young cricketers coming through the ranks, which we saw in our games against them last season.

“Somerset have never won the County Championship, and I’m sure they will be determined to put that right.”

Last season, Durham drew with Marcos Trescothick’s men at the Emirates ICG, and went down to a five-wicket away defeat at Taunton.

Durham will face another tough test when the two sides meet at Chester-le-Street early next year, but Cook says it will be one of many stern challenges the county faces.

“A lot of teams in Division One are strengthening their squads.

“Surrey have made some very good signings, and Yorkshire are coming back up with a more experienced squad than the last time they were in this division.

“It means that it will be a very competitive championship this season, and that it is going to be a big challenge.”

H England, meanwhile, are looking to build on their rare Test win in India.

Yesterday, they wrapped up a ten-wicket triumph at the Wankhede Stadium. Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann exploited a spinners’ pitch expertly – Panesar finishing with a career-best 11 wickets in the match, and Swann eight, as India were bowled out for 142 in their second innings.

England skipper Alastair Cook hit yet another century in the game but he knows who did even more to turn an “incredible” contest England’s way.

Kevin Pietersen hit a brilliant 186 which turned the contest in England’s favour.

“There are not many people in the world who could do what Kev did,” Cook said.

“It was the difference between the two teams. He took the game away from India.”

Pietersen said: “Any Test victory is huge. But we are not going to get ahead of ourselves, for sure.

“Last week we got hammered but this week turned up ... the important thing is not scoring runs in the nets; it is scoring runs in the middle.”

DURHAM FIXTURES 2013

APRIL

10-13 SOMERSET (LVCC) EMIRATES ICG

17-20 Warwickshire (LVCC) Edgbaston

24-27 YORKSHIRE (LVCC) EMIRATES ICG

29-2 Notts (LVCC) Trent Bridge

MAY

5 ESSEX (CB40) EMIRATES ICG

6 Lancashire (CB40) Old Trafford

*9 Surrey (CB40) Kia Oval

10-13 Surrey (LVCC) Kia Oval

19 Hampshire (CB40) Ageas Bowl

22-25 MIDDLESEX (LVCC) EMIRATES ICG

27 DERBYSHIRE (CB40) EMIRATES ICG

JUNE

2 LANCASHIRE (CB40) EMIRATES ICG

6-9 Somerset (LVCC) Taunton

12-15 WARWICKS (LVCC) EMIRATES ICG

16 SCOTLAND (CB40) EMIRATES ICG

22 HAMPSHIRE (CB40) EMIRATES ICG

28 LANCASHIRE (T20) EMIRATES ICG

30 Yorkshire (T20) Scarborough

JULY

5 Leicestershire (T20) Grace Road

6 NOTTS (T20) EMIRATES ICG

8-11 DERBYSHIRE (LVCC) EMIRATES ICG

12 YORKSHIRE (T20) EMIRATES ICG

14 Lancashire (T20) Old Trafford

19 Nottinghamshire (T20) Trent Bridge

21 Derbyshire (T20) Chesterfield

25 LEICS (T20) EMIRATES ICG

28 DERBYSHIRE (T20) EMIRATES ICG

AUGUST

2-5 Middlesex (LVCC) Lord’s

11 Scotland (CB40) tbc

*13 Essex (CB40) Chelmsford

*15 Derbyshire (CB40) Derby

22-25 SURREY (LVCC) EMIRATES ICG

26 SURREY (CB40) EMIRATES ICG

28-31 Yorkshire (LVCC) Scarborough

SEPTEMBER

3-6 SUSSEX (LVCC) EMIRATES ICG

11-14 Derbyshire (LVCC) Derby

17-20 NOTTS (LVCC) EMIRATES ICG

24-27 Sussex (LVCC) Hove

* floodlit