Durham enjoy pre-season training
English outfit Durham County Cricket Club trained at the ICC Academy ahead of the English domestic cricket season.
During their time at the Home of Elite Cricket, Durham had six outdoor training sessions on pre-prepared English wickets, in addition to a uniquely-designed two-day match for them.
Playing against the United Arab Emirates National Cricket Team, the team from the North of England would play a first innings of sixty overs and a second innings of thirty against the home team, fresh returned from the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Featuring in their lineup were many renowned current and former internationals including Paul Collingwood, Phil Mustard, Scott Borthwick, Ben Stokes and Graham Onions among others
Durham, batting first, made a healthy 291 for the loss of five wickets from their 60 overs, with Scott Borthwick putting up an excellent 97 and Paul Collingwood rolling back the years with a composed 47 and Graham Clarke scoring an unbeaten 44.
In response, the hosts began constructing their innings around Usman’s composed 84, which featured one six and ten fours and came off 110 deliveries.
Although there were starts for the rest of team UAE, they did not convert them into long stays at the crease and were bowled out for 254 in 56.2 overs.
Durham began their second innings strongly, Phil Mustard (30) and Ben Stokes (43) allowing them to hit the ground running as they compiled a respectable total of 156 for seven in their allotted 30 overs.
But it was the UAE who’d take victory at the end of the second day. Iqbal got them off to a brilliant start with a classy half-century while Umair Ali propped up the middle order as he contributed a decent 64.
They wrapped up victory with three balls to spare, finishing at 197/6.
Despite the final result, it was a great experience for the boys from Durham, who would’ve used this opportunity to gain match sharpness and return to full fitness ahead of their domestic season.
Paul Collingwood was particularly thrilled with the facilities here.
“I’ve said it before, I really do believe the facilities here are probably the best in the world,” he explained. “You get guaranteed weather: nice hot weather, the pitches here are fantastic. They have English-style grass and soil here and for the players to leaping be around in these conditions, it really puts us in good stead for the season back home in England.
“It’s immaculate, the place is really well looked after, we feel really welcome here and I know I can see from the boys, they’ve really enjoyed it,” he finished.