Durham’s Geoff Cook aims for CB40 revival

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GEOFF Cook wants Durham to get back on track in the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition this weekend, and he believes they can use their new-found County Championship form to do just that.

Durham face Surrey Lions in 40-over game at the Emirates ICG today, and 24 hours later they host Glamorgan Dragons in another CB40 encounter (both games start at 1.45pm).

The Dynamos go into the matches on the back of their second four-day win of the campaign as they comprehensively beat Surrey by an innings and 38 runs.

That lifted them from the foot of the County Championship table to sixth spot, and Cook has urged his side to build up a winning momentum.

“We got off to a decent start in the 40-over stuff, then we had a hiccup around the time of the Twenty20 matches,” Cook said.

“We have two one-day matches over the weekend, and will be looking to be positive in both.”

Durham are set to ring the changes from their Championship XI when they face Surrey for the second time this week.

Cook’s men will have to do without the services of strike bowler Graham Onions, who has been called into the England squad to face South Africa in the third Test at Lord’s, which gets under way on Thursday.

The international call-up will also mean that Onions misses the start of Durham’s County Championship match away to Nottinghamshire, which begins next Wednesday.

However, should Onions not be picked for England’s starting XI to face the Proteas, he will be able to play in the four-day game at Trent Bridge from Thursday onwards.

With Onions missing out this weekend youngster Mark Wood is drafted into the squad along with Mitch Claydon, who has just signed a new two-year deal with the county.

Cook and one-day skipper Dale Benkenstein will also bring a number of other players including South Shields-born Gordon Muchall back into the fray.

Cook explained: “We’ll have the same squad that went up to Scotland last weekend.

“That means Myburgh and Muchall will both come in with Wood and Claydon.”

Cook hopes that the 40-over format will offer the Dynamos batsmen more opportunities to get more runs under their belts in far less restrictive circumstances than the championship games.

He said: “It would be lovely for people like (Mark) Stoneman, (Phil) Mustard and even Benky (Benkenstein) and Colly (Paul Collingwood) just to have some opportunity to play freely and without the pressure.”

Surrey top Group B and are five points ahead of Durham, having won five of their eight CB40 clashes, while tomorrow’s opponents the Dragons are two places and just one point above Dynamos on eight.

Durham (from): DM Benkenstein, SG Borthwick, GR Breese, ME Claydon, PD Collingwood, GJ Muchall, P Mustard, JG Myburgh, C Rushworth, BA Stokes, MD Stoneman, MA Wood.