Donald demands

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The Independent Online
Allan Donald is expecting Warwickshire to launch a challenge for their third Championship title in four seasons after yesterday's quick- fire win against Surrey at Edgbaston.

The South African fast bowler took 10 for 119 in the match and said: "The rain has been frustrating for us this season, but we have five home games left. Hopefully, we'll have better weather and the pitches will dry out.

"If we continue winning games at Edgbaston and enjoy a bit of luck away from home, I'm sure we can get there again in the Championship."

Warwickshire needed only 32 to beat Surrey and despite an alarming collapse to 23 for four on Friday, they needed only 11 balls yesterday morning to complete a five-wicket victory.

Dougie Brown scored seven runs in Chris Lewis's first over but was then caught at long leg by Alistair Brown from Martin Bicknell's second delivery. Dominic Ostler finally drove Bicknell through the covers to settle the issue in front of less than 100 spectators.

The Surrey coach Dave Gilbert put his side's defeat down to a string of fielding errors. He said: "I counted eight chances in Warwickshire's first innings and that was the game in a nutshell. Anything over 100 in the last innings would have been tough for Warwickshire."

The Durham skipper David Boon reluctantly conceded yesterday morning that the Chester-le-Street ground was too wet for play and the match against Hampshire was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

"It's very frustrating," the former Australian Test batsman said. "It would have been nice to get on a roll after our win against Kent but we have no game again next week.

"To be realistic, the ground is unfit. It might have dried this afternoon but for what was going to be achieved in the time left it was not worth it.

"The groundsman has worked his socks off for four days but every time he has got it almost playable the weather has intervened."

Despite the sophisticated drainage system at the Riverside Ground, which stands next to the River Wear, the water table was so high that the dampness in the outfield could not escape.

It is the first time since becoming a first-class county in 1992 that Durham have had a County Championship match completely washed out. The ground was bathed in sunshine yesterday and prospects are good for today's Sunday League match when Collingwood will be added to the Durham squad.

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