DEBUTANT Jamie Harrison got his Durham career off to a winning start yesterday, grabbing two wickets as the Dynamos beat Somerset Sabres in their opening Clydesdale Bank 40 match.
The 21-year-old seamer was delighted just to be part of the action, and claimed two early wickets in the 14-run victory, striking twice in his first seven balls.
He said: “I missed most of last season suffering from shin splints, so just be out on the field was brilliant. I have worked really hard during the winter, getting fit and making sure the shins weren’t a problem.
“It was great to get out there and play first-team cricket. Obviously, Bunny (Graham Onions) was pulled out of the game after he was called into the England squad.
“I found out I was in the Durham squad on Saturday, but it wasn’t until we were in the nets about 40 minutes before the start of the game that I found out I was playing.
“I was a bit nervous at the start, but the ball was swinging a little bit, so that helped me out.”
Those nerves were soon eased with a wicket in his first over – the left-armer trapping Craig Kieswetter lbw for just four runs.
It was just the start Harrison needed, the youngster admitting the early success was a real confidence booster.
“Getting one in your first over definitely takes the pressure off, and it did remove the nerves, although the three no-balls in a row that I bowled afterwards were maybe not so clever.”
Harrison also removed the dangerous Peter Trego to leave the visitors on 9-2.
Somerset did rally and, having reached 77-3 after 15 overs, their decision to put Durham in after winning the toss looked a good one.
The hosts struggled with the overcast and windy conditions as Mark Stoneman, Phil Mustard and stand-in skipper Paul Collingwood all perished early on.
With Durham up against it, Gordon Muchall and partner Will Smith came to the rescue. The pair put on 124 runs, Muchall top-scoring on 75 as the Dynamos posted 222 from their 40 overs.
Harrison admitted that had given the hosts a fighting chance. “Muchy (Muchall) and Smudge (Smith) got us out of a bit of trouble early on, with a good partnership with support from the other batters at the end, and then we came out and bowled really well,” he added.
“There has been a lot of pressure from fans wanting us to do well, and it has been hard because despite the results we have done everything we can in training.
“Getting that first win is a massive bonus, and hopefully we can use it to get a real roll on for the weeks and months to come.”
Harrison was joined among the wickets by Chris Rushworth (2-39), Mitch Claydon (1-33), and Borthwick (1-20), but the returning Liam Plunkett was the star of the show with the ball for Durham.
His eight-over spell brought 4-33 as Somerset failed to claw their way back into it.
A superb knock of 72 from debutant Alex Barrow did offer the visitors some hope, but when George Dockrell was caught on the boundary by Plunkett, off the bowling of Rushworth, it was game over.