Saturday, September 12, 2009

Durham wrap up Championship title

Durham celebrate a wicket as they closed in on the title

Durham finally wrapped up their second successive County Championship title by completing an innings victory over Nottinghamshire at the Riverside.

The reigning champions headed into the game against their second-placed rivals needing to take at least 11 points.

A draw would have been enough, but Durham wrapped up an innings and 52-run win early on the final afternoon when Steve Harmison dismissed Mark Ealham.

Durham could still equal the modern-day record of 10 wins in a season.

This was their eighth Championship win of the summer. And, with still two games left, they can equal the 10 wins achieved by Surrey in 2002 and Sussex a year later, the most since the County Championship split into two divisions in 2000.

Durham achieved this latest Championship-clinching victory in style, on the back of their record first-class score of 648-5 declared, of which Michael Di Venuto plundered 219.

In reply, Nottinghamshire mustered 384 from their first innings, Liam Plunkett (6-85) and Mark Davies (4-87) sharing the wickets.

Having then been asked to follow-on, the visitors could only make their way to 212 all out in the final session.

Plunkett weighed in with three more wickets, but it was Harmison, again Durham's leading Championship wicket-taker who fittingly finished it off.

More to follow.

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