Plunkett proves all-round hit

Durham 380 Sussex 269-6

While one Durham pace bowler, Graham Onions, was enjoying himself with England yesterday, one of his county team-mates Liam Plunkett, was reminding the cricket world that there are other in-form bowlers with the county.

In fact Plunkett, who has played nine Tests for England, actually demonstrated that he can bat as well. His efforts not only left another English bowler Stephen Harmison in the shade, but also left Sussex in some disarray and trailing a distant second in this match.

Harmison was not bad, he was economical and at times quick, but it could not match Plunkett's all-round excellence, which actually challenged the perception that the 24-year-old Plunkett should be regarded only as a bowler. His footwork and strokeplay during his career-best unbeaten 94 (20 runs more than his previous mark set against Somerset at Stockton four summers ago) revealed a competence and assurance that suggested here is an all-rounder.

His bowling was accurate and aggressive and his spell of three wickets in 17 balls, which helped reduce Sussex to 97 for 4, suggested that he may yet attract the attention of the England selectors.

One of Plunkett's wickets was the usually prolific Murray Goodwin, who pushed at one that left him to become one of Phil Mustard's three catches, departing without a run to his name. The most emphatic dismissal had to be that of opener Chris Nash, who went forward to a ball from Plunkett that sent his off-stump cart-wheeling some 15 yards backwards. It was a massive blow because Nash and opening partner Michael Yardy were threatening to build a solid foundation to their reply.

They had taken Sussex to within sight of a century stand, so Plunkett's delivery was a vital strike. It certainly seemed to have rattled the rest of the Sussex batsmen because Ed Joyce came and went, caught behind, a victim of Mitchell Claydon, who went on to pick up the valuable wicket of Yardy just after the Sussex captain had reached fifty for the first time this season.

And just ahead of Yardy's departure Plunkett plucked out another middle order batsman, the rookie Rory Hamilton-Brown was caught behind having faced three balls.

Yardy had frustrated Durham for two hours, and his departure made the follow-on a distinct possibility until Luke Wright, another England hopeful, and wicketkeeper Andrew Hodd got their heads down and dragged the Sussex innings to safety.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star