Langer - We're in the box seat
Justin Langer is happy with Somerset's position heading into the final two games of the Championship season.
Last Updated: 12/09/08 8:32pm
Somerset captain Justin Langer was content with a draw against fellow title chasers Durham.
The Australian hit an unbeaten century to see the Cidermen to safety on the final day of a rain-hit match at Taunton.
Hampshire lead the table by one points but have played a game more than both second-placed Somerset and Durham in third.
Durham's first-innings' domination at Taunton, however, has increased the logjam at the top, their maximum draw points narrowing the gap between themselves and their hosts to two points and meaning the top four are separated by just four points.
"The whole season has been an arm wrestle and this game was the same," said Langer.
"It's such great, hardcore cricket and it's reflected most definitely in the closeness of the table and how many good players there are playing in this First Division.
"The weather has been so frustrating - when you can't get results you don't get to sing the team song and if you don't get to sing the team song everything gets a bit flat.
"We need a win to boost morale within the group.
"If you are only playing two-and-a-half day games it's really hard to get results out of it."
Langer's third Championship century this summer, an unbeaten 109, took him past 1,000 runs and countered Steve Harmison's threat, which saw him dismiss former England team-mate Marcus Trescothick for the second time in the contest.
"They had Harmison who is in career-best form I would have thought," Langer added. "So I knew it was going to be a tough day for us.
"The fact we weathered the storm and got a draw out of it - while it's not ideal - means we go into the final two games right in the mix.
"I would rather be in our shoes rather than other clubs' shoes."
After reaching 400-7 declared, guaranteeing five batting points for themselves and restricting Somerset to two bowling points, Durham captain Dale Benkenstein, who hit an unbeaten half-century, was disappointed his side did not show more intent in the final two sessions.
"We were pleased all-round with how we batted," said Benkenstein.
"We did exceptionally well to bowl them out for 224 on that wicket, having lost the toss, and very pleased that in the last two games our batting has started to come out.
"We always feel if we have runs on the board we have a good chance to win.
"But I was disappointed with the way we went about those last two sessions, we had 60-odd overs, it was turning, we had a chance and it did not seem we really wanted to win - it seemed like we were happy with a draw.
"In the end we obviously are happy with 12 points but we could have put them under pressure and pushed for a win."
Durham have had one match completely washed out and only managed one day's play in another, so Benkenstein is hoping for a dry finish to the campaign.
"Hopefully the weather doesn't play a part and it will be whoever can win one of the next two games," he added.
"Every team has beaten each other and it shows we are all equally matched.
"There are probably five teams that are equally as good and it's now down to whoever can play the best that will win."