Cricket: Young and old save Durham

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The Independent Online
Durham . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .228 and 301-7

South Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .428-4 dec

Match drawn

DURHAM emerged with a certain amount of kudos here yesterday by saving this game. For that they owed much not only to a batting performance that was more consistent than earlier but to the local club's groundsman, Duncan Carr, who produced an admirable pitch that remained firm and true to the end.

On it the tourists, sweaterless in the heat and dust of Chester-le-Street, got the extensive work-out their bowlers have been seeking but the odd rub of the green and the batting of Graeme Fowler, Phil Bainbridge and Wayne Larkins, among others, conspired to frustrate them.

Larkins, his bruised left wrist heavily strapped, appeared when Durham had lost five wickets and were still 10 runs adrift. As this was an external injury, the playing conditions permitted him to bat higher in the order if

required, but it made sense to spare him a going over with the new ball.

As it was, Allan Donald was immediately recalled to greet him and he was not averse to breaking the one bouncer per over limitation. By now, Donald's line was probably better than at any other time but if Larkins played and missed, he also picked off plenty of short stuff in typically effortless fashion.

He was badly missed by Andrew Hudson off Brian McMillan at 10 and at that stage Durham were only just in front and the second new ball was looming. By the time it materialised, with Larkins plumb lbw to Donald, they were virtually safe.

The finale was graced by some fine strokes by David Cox, the young slow left- armer, whose efforts here constitute a plus for Durham.

Durham's other considerable bonus was the bowling of Steve Lugsden, just 18, who has been carefully handled since he appeared as their youngest-ever player last year. His pace is raw but genuine and it was sharp enough to impress those tourists it did not disconcert.

(Photograph omitted)

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