Teenage prodigy Jack Burnham has revealed the first thing he did after scoring his maiden first-class hundred for Durham was to telephone his mother – to say thanks,
Burnham, at the age of 19 and in only his eighth match, launched Durham towards a challenging 543-7 in reply to Surrey’s 457 in the Specsavers County Championship Division One match at the Kia Oval.
He became Durham’s third youngest first-class century-maker – only Nicky Peng and Ben Stokes have scored tons younger – and says he owes his success to his mam.
Burnham, who hails from Ushaw Moor, said: “My mam made a lot of sacrifices for me when I was growing up. It was always her who had to get off work, or change jobs, so she could run me around to my cricket.
“Dad was always away working, so it had to be her. It was great to hear how pleased and proud she was that I had scored my first hundred.
“This is a moment that I have dreamed about for a long time – every since I first played for Durham Under-9s as a seven-year-old. I scored 22 against Cumbria that day, but I could hardly hit the ball off the square.
“It’s a very proud moment for all my family – my Auntie Wendy, from my Dad’s side, is another person who follows my career very closely – and it’s a very special day for me.
“Playing at the Oval for the first time is just great, so to score a hundred here is a big moment in my career.
“Hopefully I can continue to score runs and I’m very confident in my game at the minute. I’m relaxed in the dressing room and I’m just concentrating on playing every ball on its merit.
“I was a bit nervous in the 90s, but I thought I coped with it pretty well.
“Deciding to attack Zafar Ansari early in my innings yesterday, and then Gareth Batty when he came on today, was deliberate. They are very good bowlers but I wanted to try to get into their heads.
“I didn’t want them to feel they could just bowl at me.”
Burnham, playing just his 13th innings at this level, included two sixes and 18 fours in his richly promising 135 from 215 balls before swinging Tom Curran high to deep square leg half-an-hour before tea, departing to a generous ovation from the Oval crowd.
Scott Borthwick hit 77 to help Burnham to put on 145 in 40 overs for the third wicket before Michael Richardson, with 68, and captain Paul Collingwood, who remains unbeaten on 75 from 103 balls, added a further 96 in 23 overs for the sixth wicket to take Durham into the lead.
Ben Stokes made just 12 before chipping a return catch to the deserving Ansari soon after lunch, but Collingwood, in at No 7, went past 15,000 first-class career runs with the stroke that also took him to his half-century.
At stumps, after Collingwood had been joined by a hard-hitting Ryan Pringle as another 57 came in 11 overs for the seventh wicket, Durham were 86 runs ahead and, possibly, in a position from which to put Surrey under pressure on the final day.