Tough southern tour for Durham Under-15s

Durham U15s. Back, from left: Gary Hulme (assistant coach), Jack Wrightson (manager), Miles Birbeck, James Hindmarsh, Ben Simpson, Lewis Simpson, Drew Charlton, Jonathan Bushnell (captain), James Lowe (head coach), Front: Lachlan Marron, Harry Days, Finn Usher, Oliver Barrett, Lewis Williams, Leo Giacomelli.  Picture by Sam Blacklock

Durham U15s. Back, from left: Gary Hulme (assistant coach), Jack Wrightson (manager), Miles Birbeck, James Hindmarsh, Ben Simpson, Lewis Simpson, Drew Charlton, Jonathan Bushnell (captain), James Lowe (head coach), Front: Lachlan Marron, Harry Days, Finn Usher, Oliver Barrett, Lewis Williams, Leo Giacomelli. Picture by Sam Blacklock

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Durham Under-15s managed a draw but also suffered two defeats in their annual southern tour.

In their opening match, Durham lost by 78 runs to Nottinghamshire at Worksop College.

Notts posted 183 all out in 47.2 overs, inspired by Eduardo Martin (51) and Henry Butcher (42), with Oliver Barrett picking up 4-31 from his 10 overs, while Miles Birbeck, Lewis Simpson, Finn Usher and Harry Days all striking.

Durham’s reply got off to a bad start when Lachlan Marron was dismissed without scoring and Usher departing for 11. Lewis Williams made 22 from 54 balls, but Durham never got going and were bowled out for 105 in 33 overs. George Blatherwick bagged 5-25.

Rain was the winner at Merchant Taylor’s School when Durham took on Middlesex.

Middlesex elected to bat and rattled up 302-4 from 45 overs, with Archie Carter (105 not out from 81 balls) backed by 104 from opener Sahil Shulka, with 13 fours and two sixes.

Jonathan Bushnell, Birbeck and Days all took wickets, while Leo Giacomelli forced a run-out.

In reply, Durham slumped to 7-2 as openers Ben Simpson and Usher were out lbw, but an unbeaten 64 in 103 balls from Durham City’s Bushnell, and 44 from Lewis Williams, took them to respectability on 144-4, from 36 overs, before rain forced an early finish.

In the final tour game against Essex, Durham skipper Bushnell won the toss and elected to bat.

Bushnell led the way with six fours in a 97-ball 74 as Durham posted 212 all out in 49.1 overs. Giacomelli added 34, while Williams made 39 in 57 balls. Will Steinberg (4-35) and Osman Choudhry (3-16) starred for Essex.

Ben Robinson’s unbeaten 82 enabled Essex to chase down Durham’s target in 22.2 overs, backed by 43 from Joe MacGregor. James Hindmarsh picked up 3-41, with Usher also striking.