Onions on the rise

First published in Sport Durham Times: Photograph of the Author by

GRAHAM Onions, who reached 307 first-class wickets while taking ten in the match at Lord’s, is on target to become Durham’s third highest first-class wicket-taker this season.

He has 28 from his eight Tests, 43 from other England representative matches, and 236 for Durham. He has gone past Melvyn Betts (223) and is currently level with Mark Davies, with John Wood (260), Neil Killeen (262) and Liam Plunkett (263) in his sights.

After that it’s a big gap to Steve Harmison (452), who a few weeks ago repeated his ambition to overtake Simon Brown (518).

But Harmison does not appear to be nearing a first team return after taking none for 76 in the second team game against a joint Essex-Kent X1 at Billericay. The hosts amassed 463 for eight with Sam Northeast making 166 and Jaik Mickleburgh 82.

Northeast, of whom big things have long been expected, is currently being kept out of the Kent first team by Ben Harmison, while Mickleburgh has achieved little since making 174 against Durham at Riverside in the first match of the 2010 season.

In the Billericay match Durham replied with 86 for two with Ben Raine on 35 not out when rain ended play.

LAST week’s Kent v Goucestershire match pitted Ben Harmison and Mark Davies against their former Durham colleague Will Gidman, who continued his remarkable all-round success since leaving for Bristol.

He top-scored with 56 in Gloucestershire’s first innings then had Harmison caught behind for 12 in claiming five for 43.

In four years at Durham, Gidman’s only first-class appearance was against Sri Lanka A, in which he took one for 49 and scored nought.

But they obviously did a good job of preparing him for second division cricket as he became the first player in county championship history to score 1,000 runs and take 50 wickets in his debut season. He topped both the batting and bowling averages for Gloucestershire.

This season he already has 16 wickets at 15.93, while Davies is doing his impressive average no harm at Canterbury. He has taken ten wickets for Kent at 19.3.and is maintaining his economy rate, conceding 193 runs from his 98 overs to date.

DURHAM have already beaten last year’s Friends Life T20 ticket sales as they look forward to three Sunday afternoon fixtures and a Friday night clash against Yorkshire among their five home games.

The addition of Herschelle Gibbs and Mitchell Johnson to the squad is proving a big attraction.

A ticket for all five home games costs £50 for adults and £15 for juniors (£30 and £10 for members.

Tickets for individual matches will be priced at £15 for adults when purchased in advance (£20 on the day) and £5 for juniors.

Tickets can be bought at www.durhamccc.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 499 4466.

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