Rain ruined much of the opening day action in round 19 of the LV= County Championship, but it wasn’t able to prevent Durham’s inexorable march towards the title.
They skittled Nottinghamshire for a pitiful 78 in the morning session at Chester-le-Street, although they may yet find themselves hit with a penalty after ECB pitch inspector Jack Birkenshaw decided to reserve judgement until tomorrow. It is Nottinghamshire’s lowest score ever against Durham in the County Championship and their second lowest against anyone in the four-day game this century. Only two of their batsman made double figures - Riki Wessels with 17 and Chris Read with 11 - despite them electing to bat and their collapse will do little to ease fears of relegation. Graham Onions, Chris Rushworth and Jamie Harrison were their chief destroyers as each took three wickets.
Durham then did struggle early in their reply, slipping to 74 for six as Andre Adams struck four times. Ben Stokes completed his epic journey from Southampton to replace Usman Arshad in the Durham eleven but lasted just two balls and failed to score. Skipper Paul Collingwood and Phil Mustard, though, put on 121 for the seventh-wicket to take the lead past 100. Mustard fell shortly before stumps for 77, with Collingwood unbeaten with 53 and Durham on 207 for eight.
Durham’s rivals Yorkshire suffered a poor start on a shortened day at Headingley against Middlesex but recovered to reach stumps on 109 for three. They lost two wickets with just a run on the board as Corey Collymore and Tim Murtagh both struck early on. Andrew Gale then hit a fluent 66, adding 97 with Kane Williamson for the third-wicket, before departing shortly before the close. Williamson is unbeaten with a dogged 34 and is joined by Jonny Bairstow, who is on one.
Fewer than 18 overs were bowled at Edgbaston, where bottom side Surrey closed on 59 for two against Warwickshire. The Bears won the toss and Keith Barker soon had both Surrey openers Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley back in the pavilion. Hashim Amla (30 not out) and Vikram Solanki (20 not out) then added an unbroken 41 for the third-wicket before the rain arrived.
In Division Two, there was no play on day one at Grace Road where a winless Leicestershire were meant to be entertaining Hampshire.
At Chelmsford, Glamorgan recovered from the loss of both openers to close on 103 for two after 42 overs against promotion hopefuls Essex. Gareth Rees and Will Bragg were both sent packing by David Masters, who found conditions to his liking first up. However, Murray Goodwin (48 not out) and Ben Wright (44 not out) dug in and shared an undefeated 96 for the third-wicket.
Lancashire didn’t make much headway in their pursuit of the Division Two crown against Gloucestershire at Bristol. After being asked to bat, they slipped to six for two courtesy of a Will Gidman double-strike before recovering to 33 for two at stumps, which arrived after just 10 overs.
Kent closed on 60 for one against promotion likely lads Northamptonshire. The sole wicket to fall was that of Sam Northeast, caught by the returning David Murphy off the bowling of Andrew Hall for 14. Rob Key ended on 17 not out, with Daniel Bell-Drummond on seven.
day two, LV=CCD1, Durham v Nottinghamshire at Chester-le-Street
day two, LV=CCD1, Warwickshire v Surrey at Edgbaston
day two, LV=CCD1, Yorkshire v Middlesex at Headingley
day two, LV=CCD2, Essex v Glamorgan at Chelmsford
day two, LV=CCD2, Gloucestershire v Lancashire at Bristol
day two, LV=CCD2, Leicestershire v Hampshire at Grace Road
day two, LV=CCD2, Northamptonshire v Kent at Wantage Road
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow should be mostly dry, with only occasional showers and sunny spells, especially for the west. Temperatures will peak at between 13 and 16 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Glamorgan have advertised for their vacant position of head coach, with interviews set to be held on 10th October.
© Cricket World 2013