Liam Plunkett holds his nerve

A cracking match at the Riverside. The Friends Provident Trophy semi final between Durham and Essex was proof that you don't need a glut of sixes and fours for excitement in the one-day game.

After Essex were bowled out for just 71 this was a low-scoring classic, with a single worth half a dozen fours in any other context. In the end it came down to a test of nerve. Fortunately for Durham and most promisingly for England, Liam Plunkett held his.

Of 19 batsmen who appeared at the crease, four got into double figures, two passed 20 and only one, Liam Plunkett, reached 30. This in addition to taking 4-15 with the ball.

Both teams fell to 38-7 and it was at this point that Plunkett came in for Durham. That was the difference. Plunkett scored at a run a ball while Ottis Gibson's five off 27 balls in support was the third-longest of the match.

We're delighted. There's no way that Liam Plunkett isn't going to play a part for England in the future and this was a fantastically gutsy effort that shows he's undaunted by pressure. Perhaps Plunkett will be a player who 'puts his hand up' when he's really needed.

We're putting our hand up now. It's no use to anyone - least of all ourself as our typing speed has diminished considerably.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

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