Second X1 Round-Up

Second X1 Round-Up

Second X1 Round-Up

Mark Wood made his return to action after a side strain for the second X1

With the first team campaign now underway, Durham's second string have had a busy few weeks of pre-season friendlies.

The first round of T20 league matches won't begin until early May, and the Championship fixtures are some two months away, but there will be lots of chances for players to impress and try to push into the first team reckoning.

There have already been some strong performances with bat and ball, as Alastair Maiden's side thrashed a team of trialists in a friendly, before two resounding victories over Durham University.

"Everyone spent time at the crease during the games, all of the top order batsmen did really well." Maiden told

"Gordon Muchall (183) and Ryan Pringle (145) both got big centuries, and Rammy Singh hit 98"

The students were thoroughly outclassed and eventually succumbed to a defeat by an innings and 394 runs at Maiden Castle. Ryan Pringle picked up 5-44 in the second innings, but Maiden reserved special praise for two of his seam attack.

"Of the bowlers, Gavin Main and Paul Coughlin in particular did really well"

"It was a valuable few games, although I think it's fair to say we weren't tested too strongly"

The team then moved onto Billericay to take on a combined Kent/Essex side in a four day game, and the hosts boasted a number of players with international pedigree.

"They had James Tredwell, a current England player, and two former Internationals in Saj Mahmood and Geraint Jones"

"We had a young team, with Mark Wood being the most senior player" added Maiden.

The home side's experience told over the course of the first three days, as they secured a six wicket victory.

Despite Gavin Main's 4-56 and half-centuries from Jack Burnham (84) and Calum MacLeod (54), former Essex skipper Mark Pettini scored heavily in both innings to help seal the win.

With the match ending prematurely, the two sides arranged a one-day game on the final day and the visitors exacted a measure of revenge with a win.

That victory wasn't the only positive either, as the matches in Essex marked Mark Wood's return to action.  The pace merchant has been missing for several weeks with a side strain.

"Mark was excellent" Maiden reported.

"He's gradually building up his workload and he bowled beautifully. The figures don't really do him justice but he bowled brilliantly and quickly too, so he's looking really good."

"He got a few runs as well, so that bodes well".

Next on the agenda for Maiden's young side are three one-day games against Scotland next week at Durham Racecourse.

The matches should prove to be interesting for Gavin Main and Calum MacLeod, who will be representing their country rather than their county.

MacLeod is still being monitored by the coaches, as the former Warwickshire man continues his month long trial spell with Durham.

"He got a nice fifty in the three day game when we were in trouble and played really well, especially against spin. He's actually made good contributions with the ball too"

"His fielding is top class and he seems very confident in one-day cricket" added the Durham coach.

"The Scotland games will be good I'm sure, and it'll be our first test against the white ball as we've just been using the red one so far"

"We've made a really good start to the season in these early weeks"