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Colly is happy to play safe; County cricket.

PAUL Collingwood has defended his conservative declaration in Durham's drawn County Championship clash with Middlesex at the Emirates ICG.

Durham's safety-first approach consigned their rain-affected Division One fixture to a frustrating draw on a sunny final day at Chester-le-Street.

After setting Yorkshire what proved to be an over-generous target of 335 in a home match earlier this season, skipper Collingwood was not going to make the same mistake again. His declaration on 240 for six left Middlesex to score 304 in 51 overs on Saturday afternoon and after losing Sam Robson to the 12th ball, the visitors dug in and closed on 165 for six, with Joe Denly making an unbeaten 73.

Collingwood said: "I'm really proud of the guys and the way they went about their performance.

"For the seam bowlers to run in so aggressively and nearly force a win was excellent. But the amount of overs we lost in the game (to rain) really put us behind the eight ball.

"I think we got (the declaration) pretty much spot on. Of course there's always that temptation (to pull out earlier) but we knocked off 180 in 20 overs only three or four weeks ago and you don't want to gift people victories on flat wickets.

"You don't want to give the opposition a win. When you've been on top for so long you can't give them a real big chance to win the game.

"Obviously after Yorkshire I'm always going to go on the more negative side and I said that at the time. Captains can never get it right in those situations."

Resuming on 89 for one in the morning, 152 ahead, Durham showed little inclination to press on as only 20 runs were added in the first 45 minutes.

They stuck to their normal batting order and were 177 for four at lunch, having added 88 in 30 overs, Borthwick making half of those in moving on from his overnight 11 to 55. It was his second half-century of the match as he cemented his new position at No 3. Durham batted on to add 63 in 13 overs after lunch.

Durham v Middlesex Durham 259 (P Mustard 62, SG Borthwick 52, CD Collymore 4-61) & 240-6 dec (SG Borthwick 82 no, MD Stoneman 50) drew with Middlesex 196 (N J Dexter 52, G Onions 5-39) & 165-6 Middlesex Second Innings C J L Rogers lbw b Wood ..................................54 S D Robson c Mustard b Thorp............................7 J L Denly not out ................................................73 D J Malan b Wood................................................5 N J Dexter c Mustard b Onions............................6 J A Simpson c Borthwick b Onions......................4 G K Berg c Jennings b Wood ..............................8 J A R Harris not out .............................................1 Extras b1 lb2 nb4.............................................7 Total 6 wkts (50.3 overs) .............................. 165 Fall: 1-12 2-96 3-106 4-115 5-129 6-158 Onions 16 3 44 2; Thorp 7 4 10 1; Stokes 7 1 28 0; Wood 13.3 2 36 3; Borthwick 7 0 44 0 CURRENT STANDINGS County Championship, Division One: 1st Sussex (played) 5 (points) 86; 2nd Middlesex 6/85; 3rd DURHAM 6/78.5; 4th YORKSHIRE 5/76; 5th Notts 4/53; 6th Warwicks 6/53; 7th Somerset 6/36; 8th Surrey 5/33; 9th Derbys 5/21.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 27, 2013
Words:543
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