DURHAM’S Scott Borthwick is hoping yesterday’s unbeaten half century is a sign of things to come.
The Sunderland-born spinner was 70 not out at the close of play as Durham took on Sri Lanka A in a four-day friendly at the Emirates ICG.
Borthwick took 101 balls to post his total, hitting 13 fours and one six to help put his side in command on 143-1, at the end of the first day’s play.
And the 21-year-old, who has been selected in the England Lions squad to face the tourists in a four-day match, and one-day series is hungry for more.
“I was pleased with how I batted,” he said. “Hopefully, I can go on and build on the start I have made, and push on to get more runs from there.
“Obviously as a spinner I want to take wickets, but I want to show what I can do with the bat as well.
“It’s up to me to try to go on from here and prove that I can do both.”
Borthwick has had to wait for his chance with the bat, being restricted to bit-part roles for much of the season so far.
Against Sri Lanka though, he was given an opportunity to open the hosts reply, and grabbed it with both hands, although he was quick to share the praise.
“Our seamers bowled pretty well and put the ball in the right areas,” he said. “We were happy with how we bowled and how we restricted the Sri Lanka batsmen.
“That allowed me and Stoney (Mark Stoneman) to bat in the best conditions yesterday afternoon.
“I’ve been pretty happy with the way I have played when I have had the chance, but there haven’t been too many opportunities to bat for a long time this season, as the batters at the top of the order have so well.
“Most of the batsmen have scored more than 600 runs this season, which is great for the team.
“So it was all about taking the opportunity when it comes my way, hopefully that’s what I’m doing.”
Borthwick and Stoneman got their side’s reply off to a good start, the latter making 56 before being caught by Kaushal Silva off the bowling of Nilanka Premaratne.
Borthwick was still at the crease at the close, along with South Shields-born Gordon Muchall, who was undefeated on 11, with Durham reaching 143-1.
Earlier in the day, Durham’s bowling attack made light work of the visitors’ batting line-up, having them all out for 203.
Only Ranaweera Eranga (50 not out) put up any real resistance, as Ruel Brathwaite claimed 3-35 from 11 overs.
Borthwick himself was no slouch with the ball picking up two victims for 17 runs off 6.4 overs.
Some excellent bowling from Chris Rushworth saw him return superb figures of 2-15 from nine overs, while Liam Plunkett, with one scalp, and Mark Wood with two were also among the wickets.
Meanwhile, Durham’s Keaton Jennings helped his South Africa Under-19 side to a one-wicket win over their England counterparts in the fifth one-day international at Taunton.
Jennings took 2-33 from his five overs as England posted a total of 300-5 from their 50 overs. He then weighed in with 33 runs with the bat as the young Proteas passed the required total with just one wicket remaining.