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3rd August 2009

Geoff Cook on Durham’s victory over Sussex

“We’ve certainly played well in four day cricket all season and in the last few matches where the team have had a chance of winning the games they have been really strong, really powerful and played at their strengths and grasped those situations, which is what you talk about at the start of a game”, Geoff Cook said.

On Durham posting such a high first innings total and only losing seven wickets in the match Cook added: “It’s nice for number seven [Ian Blackwell] not to get a knock in the whole game which is unique for Durham, I can assure you! It goes to show that people are really applying themselves over a period of time, it was tricky batting in the first innings but we felt the wicket might spin a bit towards the end, which it did, and it enabled Blackwell to control one end while the seamers were operating at the other end.  

“We said at the start of the game that if we were batting at the end of the first day we would be in a pretty strong position and obviously Di Venuto [who scored a career best 254*] and Smith [who scored his first century as captain] played brilliantly and Benkenstein capitalised on the time that Sussex had spent out in the field when he went out to bat.  

“The side has batted consistently, we’ve certainly had more hundreds than we’ve ever had before, getting runs on the board when you’ve got a varied group of bowlers, one or two who are really potent, puts you in a really strong position.  Our bowlers had to work exceptionally hard to prize out 20 wickets.  

“Exposing the middle order and the tail as quickly as possible was important.  Thorp was exceptional in the first innings and also the catching was great, we’ve been blessed over the years with fantastic slip fielders, Collingwood, Boon, Hussey, Di Venuto and Muchall to name a few and the seamers have definitely benefitted.”