Gareth Breese in search of one last blowout

West Indian inspired Durham to win One-Day Cup

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Veteran Lord’s hero Gareth Breese has said that a performance portrayed as a glorious swansong as Durham beat Warwickshire to lift the Royal London One-Day Cup on Saturday might not be the end of his career in cricket.

The 38-year-old West Indian is at the end of his contract at the Riverside, with cash-strapped Durham unwilling to repeat the one-year extension of last autumn. It was expected he would confirm his retirement after a distinguished 19-year career.

But the off-spinning all-rounder, who took three wickets and upstaged England’s Ben Stokes by hitting the winning boundary as Durham prevailed by three wickets in a tense, low-scoring match, is ready to continue playing if another county were to show an interest.

“I’m enjoying my cricket and would like to play a bit more,” he said. “Perhaps if Durham were a richer club I’d be staying but circumstances dictate that I have to move on. If this turns out to be my last game at this level I have had a fantastic last year. I am 38 and there might not be any interest but I would like to think I can contribute still.”

Chasing just 166 to win, Durham slipped to 130 for 7 in the face of fine bowling from Jeetan Patel. Stokes then enjoyed a moment of fortune in the last of the New Zealander off-spinner’s 10 overs when an attempted reverse sweep almost went spectacularly wrong, the ball coming off the bottom edge, narrowly missing the stumps and going for four between the wicketkeeper’s legs.

But he stuck around for an unbeaten 38 that was the match-winning innings, even though it was Breese’s flailing bat that sent the ball careering to third man for the winning boundary.