County Championship: Chris Rushworth impresses as Durham beat Worcestershire

Chris Rushworth bowling for Durham
Durham bowler Chris Rushworth is the leading wicket-taker in Division Two this season, with 55 wickets at an average of 16.78
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Emirates Riverside, Chester-le-Street (day four):
Durham 212:Raine 78*, Barnard 4-42 & 290-8 dec: Burnham 76; Barnard 4-79
Worcestershire 151: Rushworth 4-28 & 242: Cox 62; Rushworth 6-39
Durham (20 pts) beat Worcestershire (3 pts) by 109 runs

Durham beat Worcestershire by 109 runs on the final day as Chris Rushworth finished with match figures of 10-67.

After resuming on 31-3, 320 runs behind the target set by Durham, the Pears slumped to 56-5 when Rushworth removed Ross Whiteley and Callum Ferguson.

Ed Barnard (43) and Ben Cox (62) put on 96 for the sixth wicket before Barnard was trapped lbw by Nathan Rimmington.

Cox then fell to Brydon Carse (2-49), allowing Rushworth (6-39) to take the final wicket and wrap up proceedings.

Pears all-rounder Brett D'Oliveira was left unbeaten on 45 as Worcestershire's winless run stretched to seven County Championship matches - now 29 points off the third of this season's three promotion places, but still with a game in hand.

After losing their first four Division Two games this season, Durham's fourth victory in six matches moves them up to fourth, just a point off third, and within 14 points of second-placed Glamorgan.

Durham now go into the T20 Blast break and do not play Championship cricket again until 18 August, when they host Leicestershire at Chester-le-Street.

After two T20 games this week, on Thursday away to Nottinghamshire, then at home to Birmingham Bears on Friday, T20 reigning champions Worcestershire play their Championship game in hand starting against Gloucestershire on Sunday at Cheltenham College.

Durham fast bowler Chris Rushworth told BBC Newcastle:

"In the last few weeks we've had lads scoring 100s and taking five-fors and confidence has started to grow.

"It's nice to pass personal milestones and no greater feeling when you're winning. The ball has been coming out nicely and I've formed a partnership with Ben Raine.

"Brydon Carse and Nathan Rimmington have formed a decent partnership as well and that has taken the pressure off a bit.

"We'd like to keep playing Championship cricket but we have had a tough seven weeks and there are some tired bodies. So it will be nice to have a new format to play in."

Pears first team coach Alex Gidman told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"We're in the middle of a tough patch. After two fighting draws, to lose last week hurt us and this has killed us off a bit mentally. It has left the lads feeling a bit scarred and beaten up.

"It was outstanding by Chris Rushworth. The pressure he put on was extremely hard. It was a pretty brutal assault. It would have been hard for any batsman, not just ours, who were already low on confidence.

"There's no cavalry on its way. We've just got to find ways to keep improving. The first two games in the T20 has come at a good time. And having Moeen Ali back, and Martin Guptill too, will lift us.

"But we've also got to recognise that we have another Championship game starting on Sunday. It's still so very tight and a question of which team can string two or three wins together at the back end."


BBC Newcastle's Martin Emmerson:

"It's been an incredible resurgence for Durham, having endured their worst start to a season. They bounced back from being all out at Leicester last week for 117 to win by 119 runs. Then they were 47-6 on day one here before the rain. But Ben Raine and Ned Eckersley fought back with a seventh-wicket stand of 115, then added 50 in the second innings as well.

"There's not a week goes by when Chris Rushworth isn't passing some milestone. In this one he reached 50 Championship wickets in a season for the fifth time. He's one of the best seam bowlers in the country and it's a pity he's never worn an England shirt.

"There is a bit of a headache on the horizon now for Durham. Cameron Bancroft is off to join the Australian squad for a trial match ahead of The Ashes and misses the first three T20 games. He will miss the rest of the season if he's called into the Test squad.

"Who will lead the side in his absence remains to be seen. Could it be D'Arcy Short? The Australian T20 specialist has linked up with Durham for the T20. It's his first time with an English club, having been voted player of the tournament in the Big Bash and the IPL."

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