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29th March 2010

Di Venuto and Coetzer star on day one

Captain Will Smith announced the eleven that would feature in this historic match, the inaugural first class fixture under floodlights using pink balls – Michael Di Venuto, Kyle Coetzer, Will Smith, Dale Benkenstein, Ian Blackwell, Ben Stokes, Phil Mustard, Scott Borthwick, Callum Thorp, MItchell Claydon, Stephen Harmison.

Academy product Ben Stokes, who represented England U19’s in the recent world cup, was named in the team and prior to the start of the match was presented with this Durham CCC representative cap by Will Smith in the presence of his teammates.

stokes cap pres

The eleven then paused to mark the first fixture of 2010 with a team photo, which saw the squad showcasing the new four day sponsor on the front of the shirts, Brewin Dolphin.

Team Pic

Play began at 2.30pm local time, with Michael Di Venuto and Kyle Coetzer opening the batting for Durham.  Both went on to score hundreds with the former stumped by Foster off the bowling of James Middlebrook for 131 having established a first wicket stand of 181. 

Will Smith was out for 13, becoming Middlesbrook’s second victim when he was caught by Scott Newman and Dale Benkenstein added 41 before he was bowled by Dean Cosker.  At the close of play Durham were 329-3 with Coetzer 123* (256 balls, 15 fours and 1 six) and Blackwell 13*.

Michael Di Venuto was involved in the post match press conference with the assembled media, which included Gulf News, UK broadsheets, BBC Radio and Sky Sports News plus Durham TV. His interview is below.

Off the field the Durham lads were pretty busy too, Gareth Breese was taking photos around the ground which we’ll post on Twitter ( for you to see for yourselves, Mark Davies had a question and answer session with the Supporters Club while Mitchell Claydon, Callum Thorp and Stephen Harmison each did a stint on radio commentary with Martin Emmerson.



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