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Page last updated at 13:00 GMT, Sunday, 13 September 2009 14:00 UK

Harmison revels in Durham title

Steve Harmison
Harmison celebrates with teammates Phil Mustard (l) and Michael Di Venuto

England fast bowler Steve Harmison was in jubilant mood after once again taking the wicket that secured the County Championship for Durham.

"To take the final wicket two years in a row is something I'm proud of," he told BBC Newcastle. "And the support we've had means a lot to the players.

"It's a great achievement for Durham as a county and a group of players.

"I'm especially pleased for Will Smith, a 25-year-old captain in a team full of international players."

Asked if Durham's latest Championship triumph was a more memorable experience than their first title triumph 12 months ago, Harmison said: "There's more pressure on it, so yes, it must be better than last year."

Six of Durham's eight wins have come at the Riverside, Harmison admitting: "We've found a formula how to play here.

"The fast bowlers we have got know for a fact we can take 20 wickets here.

"We just haven't been able to get runs. So credit goes to the senior batsmen who have stepped up to the plate and put runs on the board.

"We have also won on the road, but we've won because of momentum, confidence of winning.

"One step is to win the title. Now it is to go unbeaten. We haven't looked like getting beaten. Even the draws that we've had we've been on the winning end."


Durham's second straight Championship success caps a memorable month for Harmison, who returned to the Test team to help win the deciding match of the Ashes series at The Oval.

"This doesn't mean more me to me than the Ashes," he said. "But I'll probably celebrate this more because I've played a hell of a lot more cricket for Durham this year than I have for England.

"There will be good celebration and I'm just pleased I'm not involved in the Pro40 any more because Sunday will be a test for a few people."

One sour note in a successful season was the news that he would not be receiving a central contract with England for the next year.

But, while speculation about his international future continues, 30-year-old Harmison simply added: "I'm just going to enjoy this day with Durham. England questions will come at a later date."

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