Surrey v Durham, The Oval, 4th day

'Buzzin' Borthwick sets up Durham win

Vithushan Ehantharajah at The Oval

May 13, 2013

Comments: 12 | Text size: A | A

Durham 286 (Stoneman 77, Benkenstein 74, Batty 5-80) and 181 for 5 (Stoneman 67) beat Surrey 237 (Buckley 5-86) and 229 (Borthwick 6-70) by five wickets
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Scott Borthwick bowls on the third day, Warwickshire v Durham, County Championship, Division One, Edgbaston, 3rd day, April 19, 2013
Scott Borthwick took 8 for 92 in the match © Getty Images
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"Buzzin" was Scott Borthwick's stock description of how he felt at the end of four days of astute cricket from Durham that saw him take a career-best 6 for 70 as Durham recorded their first ever win at The Oval.

You would be hard-pressed to find anything in colloquial speech that could better describe him; a grin from ear to ear, head bobbing from side to front to side as he completed his post-match interviews in such a happy-go-lucky manner that made you appreciate how nice it is to see a talented young cricketer in the process of turning potential into quality - and a legspinner, no less. Enough to make you "buzz".

"It's nice to bowl the overs and see the ball spin past the bat," Borthwick remarked on day three here. It is a simple statement but one that must buoy any young English spinner trying to forge a first-class career. Here were two of them - Borthwick in the second innings and Ryan Buckley with his five wickets in the first - out-bowling two stalwarts with more than 400 first class games between them in Gareth Batty and Gary Keedy.

Paul Collingwood admitted that he feared the worst when he lost the toss, not least because he was not truly aware of young Buckley's strengths, having only faced him a handful of times in the nets. But he had full faith in his team's dexterity and that, in essence, is what won them the game.

"We've got a very versatile team" Collingwood said. "It was a big loss losing Stokes as a bowler so you've got to change the dynamics of the team around and bring in an extra seamer. It's great when you've got someone like Scotty - he's a genuine allrounder. He can bat at three, so you can be very versatile as a team depending on what the conditions are."

Batty was measured in defeat but unhappy at what he deemed were moments where his batsmen "self-destructed".

"A young fella did really well," Batty said. "Ultimately did we get ragged out? I'm not entirely sure we did and I think we have to take that on the chin and say we've let ourselves down on a few occasions which allowed Durham to come back in. They're a very good team and they punished us for that."

Gary Wilson and Batty did absolutely the right thing this morning, aiming to get value from every shot, either through good placement or hard running. Dawdling would only lead to panic. But having just taken Surrey past 200, they both fell in the space of three balls - Batty lbw to Buckley and Wilson caught by Collingwood at slip off the bowling of Borthwick - leaving Stuart Meaker and Tim Linley to take Surrey's lead to 180. The innings came to a close when both presented Borthwick with two return catches, meaning 19 of the 30 wickets to go had fallen to spin.

As such, Batty shared the new ball with Linley, as Durham were given a target of 181 for victory in just over two sessions. Linley redressed the balance of match wickets when he found some movement away from the right handed Will Smith to take the edge through to Steven Davies with the last ball of the first over.

But that was the only casualty before lunch, as Stoneman and Borthwick looked comfortable going into the break on 39 for 1.

The afternoon session started at a canter for Durham, as the pair continued - Borthwick this time playing the lead as he caught up with Stoneman by punishing anything short from Keedy. He put Linley over the rope for six and then took four from Batty to bring up his second half-century of the match. But Borthwick couldn't follow - trapped in front by Batty, who nearly nabbed Stoneman when he drove wildly outside off that scorched the fingers of Jason Roy at slip.

The introduction of Meaker livened things up as he caught Stoneman on the shoulder with a bouncer and then made a complete mess of his stumps with a searing yorker, and when Benkenstein was early into a shot off Linley - spooning it up to Batty at mid-off - Surrey sensed they were onto something.

But only one further wicket fell - Collingwood bowled - providing Keedy with a wicket to give him match figures of 1 for 125 - before Ben Stokes finished things off with a brace of stylish fours.

It's now three wins in five for Durham this season and eight in the last 11 with Collingwood at the helm. Tipped by many for nothing more than a relegation scrap, they are now top of the table and playing some very smart cricket.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Cyril_Knight on (May 14, 2013, 21:32 GMT)

As sjm5000 says, one wicket taking performance doesn't propel Borthwick to Test class. Anyone who watched him bowl at The Oval over the course of the 4 days and the YB40 innings would have seen instantly that he lacks consistency. Far too many full tosses and short balls. The comparison with Rashid is a good one.

@CricTun, I saw every ball of Durham's visit to South London, I was amazed he came out at three with Benkenstein, Collingwood, Stokes and Mustard below him. In the first innings he was all over the place. I'd describe him as a flashy batsman (not one who plays flash shots), one who throws the bat at anything wide or short. Fortunately for him this worked in the second innings chasing only a small total as Surrey could not keep enough catchers in.

Posted by DrTchock on (May 14, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

It is indeed a measure of how much we all get excited at the sight of a legspinner in this country, when an article like this does such a complete disservice to Mark Stoneman. Borthwick is a very talented player (and yes, he is a better bat than a bowler, for all those alarmed at seeing him at no.3) but to suggest he 'set up' the Durham win is stretching the point a bit. Stoneman not only 'set up' the win, he sealed it too! He made 2 of the 3 highest scores in the game, and more than any Surrey batsman made in either innings. Heck, even Buckley's first innings five-for was much more crucial to 'setting up' the victory than a second innings - when it is SUPPOSED to turn, remember - six-for. Disregard for a moment his career stats and focus only on what he has done in the last calendar year, and Stoneman's career is definitely on an upward curve. Don't be surprised if he ends up in warmer climes with the Lions this winter. You heard it here first.....

Posted by NorfolkApple on (May 14, 2013, 11:17 GMT)

It amazes me that people write off a team like Durham before the season starts. They are a decent side and have a fine captain in Collingwood. Never underestimate the importance of a good start to the season. Lancashire showed that in 2011. Although many will focus on the drama on the last day of the season Lancashire would not have been in with a chance at all had they not won 6 of their first 8 matches.

Playing catch up is very difficult even if a side does seem nominally to be stronger. Warwickshire would probably have been favourites in the eyes of many but hampered by bad luck with the weather, Lions call ups and injury they are already a bit off the pace.

But overall the 1st Division seems very open at the moment so a good run from any of the top 8 could be crucial.

Posted by sjm5000 on (May 14, 2013, 10:21 GMT)

We shouldn't get carried away. The lad's only 22. I'm a Durham fan and attended 2 days of the game. At the moment he bowls way too many loose balls to be thought of as a test match contender. Batting wise, he's maybe a touch better than a Tim Bresnan but nowhere near even being an Adil Rashid. Nevertheless, the progression is there and he seems keen enough to put the hours of practice in. Let's give him a couple more years at county level before we can really decide.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (May 14, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

This was definitely an eye-catching performance from Scott Borthwick. Hopefully it will be the first of many this season and he will start to go on to bigger and better things. Two years ago we wondered where we might find another spinner, now a few interesting options are appearing, who hopefully will not be wrecked by playing them in ODIs and T20s while still learning their art in the longer form.

Form Durham Borthwick's return is good news. Up to now you knew that if you put out a turner you would neutralise their pace attack, without great fear of spin retribution. That is ceasing to be the case now.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2013, 3:36 GMT)

Are we heading for a renaissance of English spin? Swann and Panesar lead the way, but now there's Borthwick, George Dockrell (who's Irish but surely a prospect for the England team as well), this lad Buckley, Simon Kerrigan... I reckon they should start preparing at least two proper turners per test season, maybe Old Trafford and the Oval and start getting some of these guys through the ranks, especially as Swann's well down his 30s now.

Posted by myboyharry on (May 13, 2013, 23:37 GMT)

Never, as a Durham fan, did I expect us to be anywhere near the top of the table after 5 games. Testament to not only some really good displays from the team unit but, and as has been said, Collingwood, who can now be forgiven for misjudging his own pitch in the Yorkshire game (fair play to Root though who was magnificent)!

Posted by CricTun on (May 13, 2013, 23:03 GMT)

Has anyone seen Borthwick bat? I'm a fan of his - I feel young English spinners need all the encouragement they can get - but I'm amazed to see him batting at 3. Have I simply underrated his batting, or is a product of desperation from Durham?

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (May 13, 2013, 21:39 GMT)

@Maximum6 The Notts game is definitely a "must not lose". It's not a crisis... yet, but it's going that way. As you say, Gareth Batty is a good stopgap captain and has been a very under-rated player, but he needs back-up from the players: the batting is too fragile and the quicks are not making the inroads that they should.

Surrey seem to have at least one too many 35 and over player in the side, which inevitably makes the fielding less sharp and means that those game-chaging half-chances that stick never even become a sniff of a chance. More than anything though, that spark of combat is just not quite there.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (May 13, 2013, 21:01 GMT)

Surrey need to halt the slide in the bud. Obviously the loss of Smith is not a good thing. He carries an air of great self belief and that rubs off on others. Batty is however a good man to have as a replacement and his performances in this game were excellent. The difference in this match between the sides was the Surrey collapse from 221-5 to 237. Otherwise they seemed evenly matched. It is a palliative of sorts that the spinners did the main damage But our much vaunted pace men need to make themselves felt-when fit. Re Collingwood-always a remarkable competitor and man.

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