Durham captain Collingwood backs bowlers to bounce back

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PAUL Collingwood admits he was disappointed with Durham’s bowlers after their draw against Yorkshire – but has backed them to come firing back.

Durham batsmen were forced to battle hard over the last two days to keep their unbeaten start to the LV County Championship season intact after watching Yorkshire pile up a first innings total of 589-8.

Collingwood and Keaton Jennings eventually saw the home side through to the close of play on 100-4 in their second innings, still trailing by 101 runs, after the visitors had threatened to pull off a victory.

Collingwood was delighted with the way his side fought, but admitted he felt they could have performed better – particularly when Yorkshire elected to bat on the opening day at the Emirates.

“I think we missed out an opportunity on the first day,” the Durham skipper said.

“The ball did swing around all day and seamed quite a bit, but we weren’t quite on the mark with the ball and Yorkshire obviously played really well, and that pitch has got flatter so far this season as the game has gone on.

“We showed a lot of character in the end against good attack to get a draw out of it.”

For all Durham are unbeaten, they have yet to record a Championship victory this season as they defend their crown, but Collingwood added: “I’m not too concerned at the minute.

“I know we weren’t on the mark, but I know we can bowl better than that and we can catch better.

“I don’t quite know what happened this week in terms of our catching, but we usually create a lot of chances.

“So I’m a little bit disappointed with the bowling, but, as I’ve said to the boys, this unit of bowlers has done superbly well for us over the last 18 months. One bad innings isn’t going to shock us too much.

“It was important to get something out of the game. We showed a lot of character and we want to be hard to beat.

“Yorkshire played very well and we were behind the eight ball after the first innings, and we had to make sure we produced some good stuff.”

Durham began the day on 361-8, needing 79 runs to avoid the follow-on, and Jamie Harrison combined with Graham Onions to add 23 runs as their defiant partnership, coupled with a short rain delay, began to frustrate Yorkshire.

The partnership was finally ended when Harrison (31) was bowled through the gate after trying to whip away Kane Williamson’s delivery in the 133rd over, with Durham left on 384-9.

After a rain delay, Onions (21) was caught behind by Andy Hodd off Liam Plunkett, with Chris Rushworth left on two not out, to put Durham 201 behind.

Yorkshire enforced the follow-on, and, after a steady start, quickly claimed two wickets in two balls.

Firstly, Mark Stoneman (four) was desperately unlucky to be run-out at the non-striker’s end after Plunkett diverted a straight drive from Jennings on to the stumps. Scott Borthwick was then caught behind for a golden duck after edging a vicious delivery from Brooks.

Kumar Sangakkara, out for a first-inninga duck, survived a huge caught behind appeal off Brooks before edging to Adam Lyth at second slip off Ryan Sidebottom for 14.

That left Durham on 35-3 with 44 overs left, and there was little respite as Michael Richardson (seven) was caught behind off Adil Rashid shortly after.

However, Jennings (54) and Collingwood (14) dug in to steady the ship as the wickets dried up and the clock raced down for Yorkshire.