Cook: Time for Durham to bounce back

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DURHAM head coach Geoff Cook admits his side will have to bounce back and fast after yesterday’s defeat to Essex, writes Gary Foster.

The Dynamos lost their opening Group B Yorkshire Bank 40 clash by four wickets.

But there is no time for his side to lick their wounds with a busy schedule lying ahead.

“We’ve got three 40-over games in a week followed by a four-day game starting on Friday, so it’s been a tough time,” Cook said.

“We spoke about it before the game yesterday, and you can’t feel sorry for yourself.

“The aim is to qualify for the semi-finals. We could have got off to a better start, but there were some good things, and we’ve got to get our first win pretty quickly.”

Durham are on their travels this week with a YB40 game against Lancashire before facing Surrey in the same competition at the Kia Oval on Thursday.

And a day later, they face Surrey again in the four-day format.

Yesterday, Durham opened the batting and despite a positive start from opening duo Mark Stoneman and Phil Mustard, they were made to toil on a slow track.

Having been reduced to 39-3, Ben Stokes breathed new life into the innings with a 62-ball half century.

But when he was run out at the non-striker’s end with 10 overs remaining Durham faltered slightly.

And Cook admitted afterwards that could have been the turning point for the hosts.

Cook added: “The scoreboard looks funny when you get 209 and you lose five wickets.

“The crucial one was Stokes’ run out. I thought he played terrifically well. If he’d have been in for five or six more overs, we’d have been probably looking at 230, 240.”

Durham did recover slightly with South Shields-born Gordon Muchall (49 not out ) and Gareth Breezes, with an unbeaten 41, rebuilding the home side’s innings.

But it wasn’t enough, although at the death it was a lot closer than it appeared it would be.

Essex openers Tom Westley and Rob Quiney put their side in command.

The duo had put 103 on the board before Quiney (51) was the first wicket to fall.

Westley made 71 off 73 balls and the visitors seemed to be cruising.

But by the 38th over, Essex had been reduced to 199-6.

Still they managed to get over the line with an over to spare.

Man of the match Westley made a flawless 71 off 73 balls, but Essex stuttered to 199 for 6 in the 38th over.

Cook felt his side had run their opponents close.

He said: “We put them under pressure and picked up some wickets.

“With a little bit of luck, and if things had gone our way in the field, we could have come away with a close win.

“It was an example of a game they really bossed for the first three quarters, but when the pressure was on, and they had to nail their victory, we did a lot of good things to put a lot of pressure on.”