Durham opener Stoneman ‘worth a look’ by England selectors, says Collingwood

Mark Stoneman
Mark Stoneman
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Durham captain Paul Collingwood was left frustrated as the weather took its toll on the final day of the Specsavers County Championship match with Middlesex.

Only 14 balls were possible yesterday, which gave Mark Stoneman and Michael Richardson just enough time to gain a valuable third batting point as the hosts reached 305-4.

Stoneman closed the game out unbeaten on 141 and his captain believes he hasn’t done his England chances “any harm” ahead of the forthcoming test series with Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Collingwood said: “I have always been a bit upset when people look at the averages in the past when they say he isn’t international class.

“I think he is worthy of a look for sure, he can’t be that far away. All I hear is that they (England) are looking for an attacking batsman at the top of the order, and he fits the bill.”

After the third day was washed out, the two sides were looking to get back to the action, but that wasn’t possible until just after 1.40pm yesterday.

The home side passed the 300 mark in the process when Stoneman and Richardson scampered five singles from Toby Roland-Jones’ remaining deliveries of his over which was cut short on Tuesday.

“I hope he gave himself the world of good. I thought the second innings against Somerset was outstanding, it was as well as I’ve seen him bat,” head coach Jon Lewis said.

“He has been a good player for three years now, scoring runs consistently. It isn’t like this is going to be a flash in the pan, it is him progressing.”

A third batting point was gained in the process, but the two sides shook hands at around 3pm after the umpires deemed the ground too wet to play on.

“It’s frustrating, but you can’t do anything about the weather, all you can do as players is go out when you do get the opportunity and play well,” Collingwood said:

“I think we have done that in the four days we have played this season. The cricket that we have put out on the park is impressive.”