Durham v MCC, Abu Dhabi, 1st day March 23, 2014

Panesar begins season with five

ESPNcricinfo staff

Durham 248 (Jennings 64, Panesar 5-63, Hogg 4-35) v MCC

Monty Panesar begins the new season with more questions to answer over his future but he opened a new campaign with another reminder that on the field is his most comfortable environment.

His five wickets ensured the MCC enjoyed the first day of the new season - another pink ball day-night affair in the middle east. Panesar removed three of the top six as county champions Durham posted a moderate total having won the toss.

They were propped up by Keaton Jennings and Scott Borthwick who both made half-centuries. While they were together, Durham were comfortable at 87 for 1 but Borthwick's dismissal to Panesar for 50 ended the only meaningful partnership of the day.

Borthwick, restored to the top order after playing as a legspinning lower-order batsman for both England and England Lions over the winter played a feast-or-famine innings of 11 boundaries. His partner was more circumspect taking 177 balls for his top-score of 64.

But bother batsman fell to Panesar who went on to dismiss Gordon Muchall and Paul Coughlin cheaply. When last man Chris Rushworth was caught behind for a dashing 29, Panesar completed his five-for.

Ollie Rayner also enjoyed conditions with 10 overs that conceded only 18 runs but it was quick bowler Kyle Hogg who also got among the wickets with four scalps.

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  • David on March 24, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    Monty is technically the best spinner available. However, whether his "state of mind" ticks the ECB boxes....????

    Also, as SL and India play spin very well, I guess they'll go three seamers, plus Stokes (* again with a rider about his state of mind) and Borthwick to start with as the part time back up spinner. Will also take pressure of Jimmy, if there's anything left there.

  • Mark on March 24, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    I agree, for the tome being he should stay as our first choice spinner whilst people like Kerrigan and Rayner get more experience. If Moeen gets a crack in the Test team alongside Root there could be certain games in England where we don't pick a frontline spinner.

  • Dummy4 on March 24, 2014, 3:50 GMT

    THose sunglasses are slick I want a pair of those!

  • Nicholas on March 23, 2014, 20:21 GMT

    A bowler should be in a test team to fundamentally bowl, and anything else (batting; fielding) is just a luxury/bonus. For this reason, I do still feel England should keep Monty in mind for particular games/series. People already forget how effective/crucial he was in India. Not sure what's going on with those awful sunglasses though... Best keep them back in the lockers Monty; Stokes isn't going to punch all of them!

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