Durham return to LV=CC summit
Scott Borthwick’s impressive all-round display helped Durham return to the top of LV= County Championship Division One with a five-wicket victory over struggling Surrey at the Kia Oval.
Leg-spinner Borthwick claimed three wickets this morning to complete a career-best return of 6-70 as Surrey, 164 for six overnight, were bowled out for 229.
The 23-year-old then contributed 42 to a second-wicket partnership of exactly 100 with opener Mark Stoneman that put Durham firmly on course to reach their target of 181.
Despite losing a further three wickets, including that of Stoneman for 67, after Borthwick’s departure, Paul Collingwood's men made it home with a degree of comfort after tea and now hold a 13.5 point advantage over second-placed Middlesex, who have played one less game.
Surrey, by contrast, have yet to record a championship win in 2013, having drawn with Somerset, Sussex and Middlesex prior to this fixture.
They initially made good progress after resuming 115 ahead as Gary Wilson and Gareth Batty added 37 to their seventh-wicket partnership.
However, both men then departed in the space of three balls, Batty falling lbw to fellow off-spinner Ryan Buckley and Wilson edging Borthwick to slip at the start of the next over.
Borthwick wasted little time in wrapping things up thereafter, accepting return catches off Stuart Meaker and Tim Linley, who had been dropped off successive Buckley deliveries in the over prior to his departure.
Durham’s chase began poorly as Will Smith was caught behind for three off the final ball of the first over, bowled by Linley.
Yet Stoneman and Borthwick accumulated steadily either side of lunch as Surrey struggled to apply pressure.
Boundaries were generally in short supply, although Stoneman took Durham into three figures by lofting Linley over midwicket for six.
A cut four off Batty moved the left-hander past 50 soon after, yet he lost his partner when Borthwick was lbw playing back to Batty.
Stoneman survived a sharp chance to Jason Roy at slip on 55 before falling in Stuart Meaker’s first over. After being struck on the shoulder by a short delivery, he saw his stumps rearranged when the paceman pitched one up.
When Dale Benkenstein departed to Linley two balls later, Durham were still 55 shy of their target and in danger of undoing their hard work.
Collingwood was bowled by Gary Keedy for nine early in the evening session, but Ben Stokes and Phil Mustard saw Durham home, finishing on 35 and six respectively.