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The busy winter for Durham’s players overseas continued with no fewer than eight players in action over the last week.
Australia, New Zealand & Sharjah were the destinations as members of the 2018 side ply their trade in international, domestic & grade cricket ahead of the new season.
Mark Wood put in an all-round impressive performance for England Lions in their 50-over match against a Western Australia XI but couldn’t prevent them from dropping to a six-wicket defeat.
Wood scored an impressive 51 from 52 balls, providing a solid foundation alongside ex-Durham team mate Paul Coughlin as the Lions scored 282 at Western Australia’s Murdoch University Ground.
He then took two of the four wickets to fall but the hosts reached their target with 11 balls to spare, largely thanks to 131 off 119 balls from 21-year-old Clint Hinchcliffe.
“It was nice to get some more overs under my belt – the more I bowl, the more confidence it gives me. I felt like I bowled sharp again, and kept the ball rolling with the upward trend I’m on,” Wood said.
Tom Latham & Stuart Poynter have both been in action for their respective countries, with the former playing West Indies in the first Test at Basin Reserve while Poynter was a late call-up for Ireland’s three match ODI series against Afghanistan in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
New Zealand ran out winners by an innings and 67 runs, restricting Latham to just one turn with the bat. He made 37 from 87 balls, including 5x4s, in a 65-run opening stand with Jeet Raval before miscuing a pull to mid-on.
Poynter finished unbeaten on 27 but it proved in vein as Ireland were thumped by Afghanistan, bowled out for 100 in pursuit of 239 to win with teenage spinner Mujeeb Zadran taking five wickets on debut. Barry McCarthy was part of the squad but not selected – he went on to make a decisive contribution in the second match.
After signing for Canterbury last week, Ben Stokes has made his 50-over debut while Nathan Rimmington’s good form earned him a recall to the Queensland team for the Sheffield Shield match against South Australia.
Stokes could not prevent Canterbury from falling to defeat in their opening two Ford Trophy matches against Otago & Auckland. The all-rounder scored two & 34, bowled 16 overs & took one catch.
Over in Queensland, Rimmington’s good form for grade side Sandgate-Redcliffe saw him called up to face England Lions, removing Middlesex’s Nick Gubbins caught & bowled.
He was then recalled to the state side, bowling economically throughout & taking the first two second innings wickets in a high-scoring draw.
Cameron Steel enjoyed T20 success with Claremont Nedlands CC, reaching the final of the Western Australia Cricket Assocation Premier T20 competition.
After finishing top of Group D, the 22-year-old’s scored 22 in the semi-final win over Scarborough & notched 15, including two maximums, in pursuit of quick runs during the preliminary-final victory against Melville, winning with four balls to spare. They will go up against Wanneroo in the final on 21 January.
Over in Geelong, Graham Clark was also in T20 action as his Newtown & Chilwell CC side registered victory against Murgheboluc to maintain their 100% start in the competition. Clark took a wicket in restricting the visitors to 130/8 & scored 16 as they chased it down with ease.
Liam Trevaskis made his first half century for North Canberra Gunghalin, top-scoring with 65 in their first grade clash with Ginninderra.
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