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13th May 2011

Durham battle to secure draw v Somerset

Dale Benkenstein and Ben Stokes played patiently to ensure Durham slowly knocked off the runs required to dent the Somerset lead in the first session of the final day with two huge sixes in three balls from Stokes just before lunch pushed him to 85*

By lunch Durham had clawed their way firmly into contention for a draw with 345-3 on the board, a deficit of just 28, with Benkenstein 47* and Stokes 86* .

The Cumbrian smashed Suppiah through the covers to earn his hard grafted hundred which came off 113 balls and included fourteen boundaries and those two huge sixes.

Consecutive overs saw the batsmen mark their 150 run partnership and Benkenstein’s calculated fifty, off 105 balls, including four fours.

A Willoughby delivery was smashed right back past him for four by Stokes saw Durham move their total past that of the visitors mid way through the second session.

Durham lost Stokes when he dragged Willoughby onto his stumps with his total at 120, just as the home side had taken an 11 run lead. 

Blackwell, batting again with Will Smith as runner, was dropped on 9 by Trego off his own bowling as Durham posted a 26 run lead.

Two wickets fell in a short period with Benkenstein caught by Trescothick at slip on 66 followed by Blackwell (18) who was caught at gully off Kirby with Durham leading by 45.

At tea Durham had extended their lead to 65, with both Scott Borthwick and Phil Mustard 10*.

The pair couldn’t be forced out of the middle, adding a steady 73, and with the Durham total at 489-6 leading by over 100, the captains shook hands for the draw just after 5.00pm.  

If you missed the game then it’s worth checking out the highlights so you can see the Durham fightback! Visit