Head Coach Jon Lewis was pleased with his bowlers in the draw with Northamptonshire
Head Coach Jon Lewis spoke with durhamccc.co.uk after his side's dramatic draw with Northamptonshire
After four days of sunshine and excitement, the new season is off and running with a bang.
Durham went agonisingly close to forcing a win in the first game of their title defence, only to be denied by Northamptonshire's last wicket pair.
Rob Newton and number 11 Azharullah managed to survive for the final nine overs, as the Durham bowlers tried in vain to register a victory.
Despite the frustration though, there were plenty of positives to take from an absorbing four days at Wantage Road.
Five batsmen passed fifty for the visitors, with Michael Richardson scoring a half-century in both innings.
In addition, apart from Gareth Breese who only bowled one over, every member of the attack took a wicket.
On a fairly placid pitch, the bowlers had to work incredibly hard to get wickets, and Head Coach Jon Lewis was delighted with his players' endeavour.
"It was a good finish" Lewis told durhamccc.co.uk after the close of play. "We had nine overs at their last pair but the quick bowlers had given pretty much all they had unfortunately by that stage.
"They worked very hard to get us into that position on what was still a good pitch."
Lewis reserved special praise for two of Durham's England Internationals, who shared five wickets between them in the second innings.
"In the second innings it was just the type of situation that Graham Onions likes. He likes to lead the attack, he likes to stand up when the team needs him most and he really led the attack well today."
"Scott Borthwick bowled nicely, which looked to be probably our best chance of getting that last wicket, but we couldn't quite find it."
Scott Borthwick took two wickets in two balls late on after Onions had earlier dismissed Kyle Coetzer and Matthew Spriegel in quick succession.
Northamptonshire started to wobble, but survived. Lewis was then left to rue the absence of one of his quick bowlers.
"Today was the kind of day that would have been great to have had a fit Woody (Mark Wood) because he would have bowled well on this pitch" said Lewis.
"But he's not quite there yet"
Wood is expected to play for the second team next week, with the first team in action on Sunday against Somerset.
"A lot of the batsmen got in, got some starts, got some runs but it would have been nice if one or two had gone on to make a big score."
"When we get so many batsmen getting good starts, we like to see them go on to make hundreds and big hundreds as well" added Lewis.
"But most of the guys look to be in good form at the moment with the bat which is great."