Durham have gone back to the top of the LV=Championship table after defeating Surrey at The Oval this afternoon.
The win exemplified a superb team effort with several making solid contributions with the bat and ball. Opener Mark Stoneman led the way with the bat making 77 in the first innings and setting up the win with 67 in the second innings. The experienced Dale Benkenstein also back to his best with 74 no in the first innings.
Scott Borthwick also showed his all-rounder abilities with the spinner taking a career-best 6-70 and also made 42 in the second innings whilst youngster Ryan Buckley showed he is a name to watch with 5 wickets on debut in Surrey’s first innings.
The final day was set up perfectly with Surrey resuming their second innings at 164-6 and Durham on the hunt for quick wickets to restrict the home side’s lead.
Surrey had other ideas and Batty and Wilson continued to add to the Surrey total and put on a further 47 runs early on day 4 before debutant Ryan Buckley got the much needed breakthrough dismissing Batty lbw for 27.
Scott Borthwick then took the game into his own hands. The spinner took advantage of the spin-friendly pitch to claim his fourth wicket, getting Wilson for 26 with the ball finding the safe hands of skipper Paul Collingwood.
Borthwick continued to torment the home side as he cleaned up the tail taking the wickets of Meaker and Lindley who were both caught and bowled to give him career best figures of 6-70 as Surrey were all out for 229 with a lead of 180.
Needing 181 for victory the Durham run chase didn’t get off the best start with Will Smith dismissed on the last ball of the first over.
Needing to keep composed in order to chase down the modest total, Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick did just this to quickly deduct runs from the total.
The pair put on a superb 100 run partnership before Borthwick was dismissed lbw for 42.
Stoneman carried on with the experienced Dale Benkenstein before he was bowled for 67 and it wasn’t long before Benkenstein followed him back to the changerooms when he went for 6.
With the experience of Ben Stokes and Paul Collingwood at the crease Durham required 55 more runs for victory and the pair took 30 off the required amount before Collingwood was bowled just after tea for 9.
Stokes held his nerves however and made a composed 35no and with Phil Mustard (6no) guided Durham to a well deserved victory- their third of the season which sees them go back to the top of the league ladder.