Jennings’ patience is paying off

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DURHAM youngster Keaton Jennings believes his patience is paying off after hitting his maiden First-Class half century.

Jennings, 20, has had to wait for his chance in first-team cricket, but the former South African under-19 captain looks to have a bright future ahead of him after his performance against Lancashire in the County Championship clash.

Yesterday he repaid skipper Paul Collingwood’s faith in him with an assured display, which saw him reach 70 before being caught by Steven Croft off the bowling of Gary Keedy.

And the player, who qualifies to play county cricket through his Sunderland-born mum Linda,

was pleased with the way he handled himself, particularly against Lancashire skipper Glen Chapple.

He said: “When Colly (Collingwood) asked me if I wanted to open I said yes.

“It’s good to test myself, and I wanted the challenge.

“Even from a young age my dad (former South African player and current coach Ray Jennings) has tested me and put me under pressure and always taught me never to back down.

“If you can test yourself against someone like Chapple, someone who is at the top of his game, and succeed then you grow as a person.

“I think patience is a massive part of my game so I just waited for balls in my area and tried to capitalise on them.”

Durham will also have been pleased with the performance of another of their youngsters – Michael Richardson resumed today on 39 no out.

But it was old hand Graham Onions who stole the show again.

Having suffered two rain-affected days, Durham finally got back under way at Liverpool just before 1pm yesterday.

Hosts Lancashire resumed on 221-6, and will have been hoping to post a big score.

But in the 10th over of the morning Onions struck to remove Tom Smith nine runs short of his century.

And seven overs later it was all over for the home side, as Onions took 3-12 in 21 balls, which gave him his fifth five wicket haul of the season.

Chasing 261 Durham’s reply got off to a steady start Jennings and Mark Stoneman putting on an opening stand of 90, before the latter was caught by Croft on 44.

The visitors resumed today on 187-4 – 75 runs behind Lancashire, with the rain-hit game looking set to end in a draw.