Ben Raine says Durham’s win over Yorkshire helped propel them up

Durham defeated Yorkshire in dramatic fashion on Sunday, with superb rearguard action in the second inning from Raine, Matthew Potts and Brydon Carse to secure a one-wicket win at Seat Unique Riverside.

The win, which saw Durham take 19 points, put Raine and his team-mates 18 points ahead of their closest rivals Sussex at the top of the Division Two table.

It’s by far their best start to a county championship season since being relegated from the top flight. The previous three games ended with three wins, a draw and a single loss.

They return to action on Thursday when they travel to Bristol to take on a Gloucestershire side who are yet to claim a win this season. Raine is delighted with the strong start to the season.

“It’s been fun to be there at every game, even games where we’ve lost and drawn,” said Raine, whose 50 unbeaten games laid the foundation for Durham’s successful comeback against Yorkshire on the final day. “You’re not going to play any better against a lot of teams with a batting line-up of playtesters than you did against Yorkshire.

“From where we were on Saturday morning, when they were in a strong position to get a win, sets up our season. We managed to find a way to win.”

Raine believes Durham’s positive approach was key to their impressive performances in the first month of the season. New head coach Ryan Campbell is keen to embrace the ‘Bazball’ revolution that Ben Stokes spearheaded with the England Test team.

“It was really fun to be there (against Yorkshire),” he said. “It was fantastic but I think all our games have been like that this year. In Four Days cricket there was real impetus for a positive way of playing cricket, coming from Ben Stokes and the England team.

“It’s nice to see ourselves at the top of the table but we know there’s still a lot of cricket ahead of us. We look forward to every game. We will lose some along the way and there will be ups and downs but it will be a fun ride.”

The mood in the Yorkshire camp was a little different at the end of Sunday’s game as the White Rose had been without a county championship win in a year.

The aftermath of last season’s top flight relegation has spilled over into the current season and while head coach Ottis Gibson is adamant his side are close to turning the tide, he admits they are have developed a worrying habit of throwing away winning positions.

“You have to give Durham credit for playing well,” Gibson said. “They are at the top and have won games for a reason. We’re still trying to win and we know it’s not easy.

“They showed a lot of great character on Saturday night after we took a lot of wickets in the afternoon. The last two batters – Ben Raine and Matthew Potts – won the game with their efforts in the evening session. It is a role model for us and all our all-rounders.

“Our dry spell of 17 wins hasn’t affected the players. We know we didn’t win. I don’t think we counted, 17 sounds like a lot but looking back at the chances we had to win games. We always put ourselves in a position to win games, but maybe we lack the punch at key moments that can get us across the finish line. But from my point of view, we at least put ourselves in that position.” Ben Raine says Durham’s win over Yorkshire helped propel them up

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