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14th June 2009

Cook: This was a tough game

Durham Head Coach Geoff Cook said, “In the short time I’ve been with the first team we haven’t had a success against them.  They have played some fantastic cricket and this was a really tough game.  Credit to Durham that they stuck at the hard times and when we had a chance of winning we were strong enough and powerful enough to take that chance.”

The match was most definitely a battle between two very strong bowling attacks but it was Durham that came out on top on this occasion, “A lot has been said about the English game and over the last two years there have been some titanic struggles in the County Championship and when we played at Lancashire last year when they had Anderson and Flintoff on a quick wicket and we got the back side of the result but we managed to reverse things this time.  We had Onions bowling alongside Harmison and supported well by Claydon and Thorp and they had three top class bowlers, Mahmood, Flintoff, who was excellent on his return, and Chapple, who I thought was outstanding in the first innings”, added Cook.

The batsmen struggled to get runs on the board against the bowling attack from both sides but two important performances, one in each of Durham’s innings just game the home side the edge.  “It took us ten overs to get two runs on the board in the second innings , quite literally, Lancashire bowled excellently and that was cricket at its toughest.  Blackwell came to the wicket and very often he makes batting look a different chore and he played magnificently.  He had a little bit of luck but the runs that he got in the second innings and the runs that Phil Mustard got in the first innings were absolutely crucial to this victory,” said Cook.

Durham travel to Edgbaston to face Warwickshire in the LV County Championship next week and despite back to back victories Cook is mindful that changes may be required to sustain the winning streak.

“Every opposition brings a different challenge to us and we go to Warwickshire to what has traditionally been a pretty flat wicket over the past two or three years so that will be a different sort of game, no doubt.  The important thing is that we get into the game in the first innings and then we’ll just see where that takes us from there.

“You have to be able and brave enough to make some changes to a winning team but equally, you don’t just do it for the sake of it, you’ve got to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons”, said Cook.