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13th July 2009

Plunkett and Mustard partnership was crucial says Cook

“We’ve had a good start to the season, we four, drawn four, we’ve played some good cricket but these four days was a different sort of game, it was a slow wicket where a lot of application was needed and we probably didn’t apply ourselves as well as would have liked on the first day.   They batted pretty well the second day but we stuck at the task and Stephen bowled extremely well but we had real back to the wall stuff for a day and a half. 

“The last two days we’ve shown some real fighting qualities.  Credit has to go to the batsmen, they applied themselves excellently and today’s partnership between Phil Mustard and Liam Plunkett was obviously crucial in saving the game and getting us into a position where we had half a chance of winning it.  At the end of the first three days they were certainly the favourites.  We played the better cricket in days three and four and they played better in days one and two”, said Geoff Cook.

During play on day four the England squad for the second npower Test Match against Australia was announced which included Stephen Harmison and Graham Onions, which means both will be unavailable for Durham’s four day game against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge which starts on Wednesday.

“It’s fantastic news for Stephen and brilliant for Durham, if both Stephen and Graham play there’s a chance that there will be six people on the pitch that have represented Durham past or present, with three of the Australians included.  In terms of missing Stephen and Graham it’s hard to win games.

“Those two have been brilliant in the first half of the year but Plunkett seems to be coming back to a bit of form and the other bowlers are pretty fresh,  either just coming back from injury or being rested so it’s their responsibility now.  We’ve certainly got enough firepower to win the games but it’s a different sort of attack we’ve got to be consistent and apply the pressure”, Cook added.