Seamer overtakes Onions as Worcestershire are overwhelmed on final day
Durham 246 (Lees 99, Tongue 5-39) and 389 for 5 dec (Young 103, Burnham 102*) beat Worcestershire 213 (Fell 44, Leach 42*, Rushworth 5-56) and 164 (Mitchell 62, Rushworth 4-52) by 258 runs
Chris Rushworth orchestrated a brilliant 258-run win for Durham in their LV= Insurance County Championship clash against Worcestershire, on the day he became the county’s all-time leading first-class wicket taker.
Rushworth claimed his 528th first-class wicket for the club by removing Jack Haynes, breaking his tie with Graham Onions that he matched in the first innings. The 34-year-old notched figures of 4 for 52, while Mark Wood and Brydon Carse were equally impressive with three and two wickets apiece, to dismiss the visitors for 164.
The emphatic victory moves Durham into second place in Group One in the County Championship, three points behind Essex. Worcestershire lost their first game of the season, but they remain in fourth place despite their crushing defeat.
Rain prevented play in the first hour of the day, but Daryl Mitchell quickly found his rhythm to pass fifty for the third time this season. Rushworth almost secured his record-breaking scalp when Jake Libby clipped a stroke towards mid-wicket. Jack Burnham attempted to corral the ball, but he could not hang on with a diving effort.
Wood turned to short-pitch bowling to make the breakthrough, hitting the glove of Mitchell, which forced the opener to require treatment. The following delivery Wood went short again, and this time Mitchell fended straight to short leg.
Carse made an immediate impact with his first delivery of the day, pinning Tom Fell lbw for 1. It could have been better for Durham in the first hour, but David Bedingham dropped a routine catch at first slip after Ben Raine found Libby’s outside edge.
However, Bedingham atoned for his error to hand Rushworth his record-breaking scalp, collecting a low edge from Haynes to take the seamer clear of Onions. The wicket prompted emotional scenes among his team-mates and a salute to his dad in the Emirates Riverside car park.
“I could not be any prouder, especially with my dad in the car park as well,” Rushworth said afterwards. “I was very emotional, I don’t think I’ve ever been as emotional as that on a cricket pitch. I’ve played in Lord’s finals and a Championship win, but that tops the lot.
“It has been on my mind and you could probably tell with the spells on Saturday night and Sunday morning. Other milestones have not entered my mind before, but because this one was so big and it has been close for a while, it was getting to me. To get it done, I can get back to bowling without worrying and winning more games for Durham.”
Despite the catch to break the record, Durham’s problems in the slips continued as Scott Borthwick put down Brett D’Oliveira off Wood, but the England man returned to prise out the batsman in his next over.
Durham smelled blood in the water, and Rushworth jagged a delivery back into Riki Wessels to pin him lbw. Wood performed the same feat to end Libby’s stubborn resistance for 36. Ed Barnard continued the procession and was powerless as he feathered an edge behind from a fine Carse delivery, leaving the visitors seven down.
After the tea break, Rushworth allowed the home side to close in on their second win of the campaign. He was on the mark to dismiss Joe Leach and Ben Cox lbw, displaying pinpoint accuracy. Borthwick claimed the final wicket to wrap a hugely impressive win for his side to put forward their credentials for the County Championship.
“We were outplayed by a better team this week,” Worcestershire coach Alex Gidman said. “They played a lot better than us in their home conditions and we have to take it on the chin.
“We were going to lose a game at some stage and this week Durham were a better team than us. We didn’t play good enough cricket over the four days. Their bowling attack is as good as we’ve seen this season. The lads are disappointed that we didn’t perform well enough in this game, but we’ll support them to the hilt.”