| Paul Collingwood |
London: Durham clinched the English County Championship title with an eight-wicket victory over Nottinghamshire at Chester-le-Street on Thursday, their 10th win of a season they started with a points penalty.
Opener Mark Stoneman scored the winning boundary to secure Durham’s third title in six years after successive triumphs in 2008 and 2009.
Durham started the season with a 2.5-point penalty as punishment for breaking salary cap rules. In mid-June, head coach Geoff Cook suffered a major heart attack while jogging but surprised his players by returning to the team last month.
“It is just fantastic that he came through that and I know every single man in that dressing-room was doing it for Geoff,” captain Paul Collingwood said.
Durham had resumed on 7 for no loss, needing another 62 runs, after rain delayed the start of the third day’s play.
Harry Gurney took two wickets for Nottinghamshire but Stoneman saw Durham home and finished on 35 not out.
Durham bowled out the visitors for 78 on the opening day. They looked in trouble at 45 for five in their first innings before recovering to score 256, helped by a 121-run partnership between Collingwood (88 not out) and Phil Mustard (77).
Brief scores: Nottinghamshire 78 (J. Harrison 3/4) & 246 (S. Mullaney 72). Durham 256 (P. Collingwood 88 .., P. Mustard 77, A. Adams 4/69) & 69/2. Durham won by eight wickets.