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14th May 2023 Interviews

Ben Raine: “I just thought that we were going to win”

Durham came out victors in a tantalising encounter against Yorkshire as the hosts claimed victory with just one wicket remaining.

Ben Raine performed for Durham with both bat and ball as he took 7 Yorkshire wickets in the match before scoring an unbeaten half-century which was paramount to Durham’s victory on the last day.

Durham had been set a target of 246 to win in the afternoon session of day three and it had looked relatively comfortable. Durham fell from 126 for two to 154 for six, when Raine arrived at the crease.

Asked how he was feeling whilst watching on, Raine said, “I was nervous yesterday until I got into the middle. When you’re out there it becomes a game and it’s always worse watching. I just thought that we were going to win.”

Raine watched on from the non-striker’s end as he saw partners Bas de Leede and Ajaz Patel depart as Durham were reduced to 173 for eight. This brought England international Matthew Potts to the crease, who scored patient 25 in a 73-run partnership to lead Durham towards victory.

The 31-year-old said of their partnership, “Me and Matthew Potts were quite calm out there. I thought I would have to keep everything calm, but we just backed ourselves.”

Durham came out to bat on the morning of day four with just 10 overs remaining before Yorkshire could claim the second new ball, with 34 runs required to win. On the prospect of a looming new ball, Raine added, “At one stage I thought we would have to face a lot more of the new ball. We got to the target a lot quicker than we imagined.”

He continued, “We knew that we were going to face the new ball, but we were confident that we could get the job done.”

Seat Unique Riverside saw crowds of over 1,000 spectators for the first three games of the fixture and even surplus of 250 people showed up for a shortened final day.

Raine added, “The crowd were great and even yesterday they were cheering every run.Despite the match being a low-scoring affair, it was evidently a good watch with almost 6,000 tuning in to Durham’s live stream to watch the climax. Raine continued, “It was a really fun game to be a part of. In terms of I think all of our games have been like that this year.

“There has been a real impetus in four-day cricket to play a positive brand, which has come from Ben Stokes and the England team.Every game has been fun to be a part of, even games when we’ve lost and drawn.”

Yorkshire’s line-up consisted of many international cricketers including captain Shan Masood, Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan, testament to Durham’s character, said Raine, “You’re not going to play against many teams better than Yorkshire with a batting line-up of Test players. To get a win from where we were yesterday morning when they were in a strong position sets up our season.”

Durham did not perform at their fluent best, but still dug in to seal victory giving themselves a cushion at the top of the County Championship division 2 table. Raine said, “We’ve managed to find a way to win. It’s nice to see yourself at the top of the table, but we know that there’s a lot of cricket to go.

He continued, “We’re looking forward to every game. We will lose some along the way and there will be ups and downs, but it’s going to be a fun ride.”


Durham continue their County Championship campaign in Bristol next week as they face a winless Gloucestershire side, who currently sit bottom of the division having been unfortunate with weather so far this term.


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