Durham v MCC, Abu Dhabi, 1st day

Panesar begins season with five

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 23, 2014

Comments: 4 | Text size: A | A

Durham 248 (Jennings 64, Panesar 5-63, Hogg 4-35) v MCC
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Monty Panesar took five wickets in the season opener in Abu Dhabi, Durham v MCC, Champion County Match, Abu Dhabu, 1st day, March, 23, 2014
Monty Panesar remains an enigma © Getty Images
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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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by MarkTaffin 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.

Posted by markatnotts 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.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 3:50 GMT)

THose sunglasses are slick I want a pair of those!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK 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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