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23rd September 2008

Will Smith on Durham’s match against Kent

Smith has hit three of Durham’s seven centuries this year, including a double ton against Surrey in July. Only the prolific Michael Di Venuto has scored runs but Smith’s average, a shade under 50, is  the best in the Durham dressing room.

“I’m proud of the runs I have scored,” said Smith. “Over the winter I was worried this year might be last chance saloon. Maybe that has helped me. I’ve really enjoyed playing my cricket this year. It’s given me a taste of what I want to achieve in the game. It’s proved to me I can do it.”

Durham are currently ten points adrift of leaders Nottinghamshire and two behind Somerset, who host Lancashire, as the county championship reaches a thrilling conclusion this week.

Hampshire, in fourth, have an outside chance of snatching the title if they thrash Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge but the likehood is that the champions will emerge from the top three.

“We have to be optimistic,” insists Smith. “Every round of games there has been a different leader. Teams have been beating teams. There are a couple of twists to come.

“It’s a case of concentrating on what we are doing. It’s just another game really. It places an added emphasis on it but we have to do what we have been doing all season.”