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18th July 2009

Cook: It’s a terrific effort to win five out of six matches

“When we set out to play the Yorkshire game we thought if we could draw one of the games and win the other one then that would be a really satisfactory ten days away and we played brilliantly in the second innings at Yorkshire which really game the team a lot of impetus going into the game down here at Notts.  There was some excellent batting from Smith and Benkenstein who set us up nicely and from then on the bowlers took charge” said Head Coach Geoff Cook.  

“We were probably a little disappointed to get around 350 but then the bowlers took the opportunity on a wicket that was a little bit helpful to them.  Obviously, Stephen coming back from the Test Match was a terrific boost to the squad of bowlers and probably a bit deflating for Notts.  An accumulation of those things was very positive and in our favour. 

“Stephen getting his career best for Durham is an indication of how much pride he has playing for Durham, he is aware of these statistics and he was desperate to try and initially get a career best and was trying for the second wicket today,” he added.

Despite remaining unbeaten in the four day competition Cook believes that the side will need to accumulate a higher haul of points than in 2008 if they want to retain the title, and that Notts are still a serious threat.

“It’s been a terrific effort to win five out of six games.  It’s difficult to gauge how this season is going to go in the first division.  It probably looks as though the number of points we had to win the league last year we will have to surpass that so it’s important that when we do get these chances to win games we are strong enough mentally to take advantage.

“We have to win a minimum of two games, I still think Notts will win games because they are a similar squad to ourselves, very strong in the bowling.  I’m sure they’ll pull back, they’ve got two games in hand and just one good win brings them immediately back into serious contention”, said Cook.