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28th June 2010

Blackwell boosts Durham total on day one

Durham were without Liam Plunkett and Warwickshire were missing Jonathan Trott and Chris Woakes, all of whom are currently on England Lions duty.

Durham: Di Venuto, Stoneman, Muchall, Benkenstein, Blackwell, Stokes, Mustard, Thorp, Claydon, Rushworth, Harmison S.

Warwickshire: Westwood, Botha, Maddy, Troughton, Javid, Ambrose, Clarke, Carter, Miller, Imran Tahir, Rankin.

Warwickshire won the toss and elected to bat first but the home side lost the first four wickets fairly cheaply and were 73-4 after 25.3 overs.

Neil Carter claimed the wickets of both the openers, Di Venuto caught by Ambrose for 6 and Stoneman caught by Clarke for 12.

Gordon Muchall added 27 before he was caught by Boyd Rankin off Rikki Clarke.  Darren Maddy claimed just one wicket in the innings, that of Dale Benkenstein who was caught behind on fourteen.

At lunch Durham were 71-4 with Blackwell (19*) and Stokes (10*) at the crease.  Durham were 112-5 once Stokes was caught by Miller off Rankin for 16 after the break.

Phil Mustard and Blackwell steadied the innings, putting on 91 and pushing the Durham total past 200 in the second session, before Mustard became Imran Tahir’s first victim when was caught by Clarke for 35 just before tea.

Durham’s top scorer, Blackwell, who was bowled by Clarke for 86, left Durham 221-7 with 28 overs remaining of the day.

The tail added 73, including a first class best of 26 for Chris Rushworth, before the final wicket fell with Durham’s first innings total of 288. 

With the conditions having been warm from the start of play, they deteriorated during the change of innings with the light fading.

The Durham side and Warwickshire openers played just 1.3 overs before a combination of bad light and rain stopped play at around 5.30pm.

At the close of play we spoke to Ian Blackwell, “It was one of those days where you need to grind out the runs, so it probably wasn’t one of my best innings but a vital one for the team in the end.  We knew that when Phil came in that we needed to have a decent partnership and he played fluently for his 35. 

“There was swing and a fair bit of bounce in the pitch today, it was a slightly two paced pitch, some balls were coming in nicely and others were hard to time. It was a case of picking off what we could and trying to get a decent platform. 

“The runs from the tail were much needed, we always try and get as much as we can from the bottom four and today it was seventy – odd and that could put us in a decent position for this game.  

“It’s going to be tough for them tomorrow, we’ve got some skilful bowlers, they can hopefully get a bit of bounce and make it awkward for them. “

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