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14th September 2009

Durham CCC v Hampshire – Match drawn

Hampshire were 345-7 when Pothas was bowled by Blackwell for 78.  Hampshire pulled out all the stops as they attempted some big hitting to try and secure themselves an additional batting point but despite a quickfire 24 from Cork, who became Harmison’s fiiftieth Championship wicket of 2009 and 400th first class wicket, when he was caught behind, they were 384-8 and the subsequent batsmen failed to add to their total.  Ervine and Briggs were out without scoring, both wickets were catches off the bowling of Blackwell with Ervine caught behind and Briggs caught by Plunkett.

Durham  (8-0) squeezed in three overs before bad light stopped play. With the light failing to improve play was abandoned at 4.00pm, with Durham picking up 11 points and Hampshire 10.

A fire alarm at the hotel over breakfast and a bit of traffic on the way to the ground made for an eventful morning prior to the start of play on day three at The Rose Bowl!

Stephen Harmison was the last man out, trapped lbw off the bowling of Griffiths for 1.  Durham’s first innings total was 439 with Harmison and Mark Davies opening the bowling attack.

Ian Blackwell came on at the Pavilion End in the 8th over and struck in his fourth over when Dawson was caught behind for 22 – Hampshire 52-1.  The hosts were 72-2 after Lumb became Blackwell’s second victim when he was trapped lbw for 6 in the 18th over.

Scott Borthwick began his first Championship spell in the 25th over, with just one run being snatched off the last ball.

At lunch Hampshire were 87-3 at lunch.

Hampshire were 114-4 after Borthwick claimed his second wicket shortly after lunch with Adams (57) caught on the square leg boundary by Harmison.

Additional spells from Plunkett, Benkenstein, Smith and Davies prior to tea weren’t fruitful as far as taking wickets.  At tea Hampshire were 207-4 with the current partnership of Pothas and Benham almost at the hundred mark.

After the break Davies, from the Media Centre End and Blackwell, from the Pavilion End, continued the Durham attack.

Borthwick picked up his third wicket in the 94th over, 10 minutes before the scheduled close, when Benham (100) clipped the ball to Michael Di Venuto in the slips leaving Hampshire 266-5.

Liam Plunkett bowls Griffiths for just one in the last over of the day, with the wicket signalling the end of play on day three.  Hampshire will resume in the morning on 267-6.

Sunshine at the ground as we arrived this morning but by the time play started at 10.30am it had clouded over a bit.  Nevertheless play started on time, despite yesterday’s downpour which had continued well into the night.

Durham were one run short of the hundred mark when Michael Di Venuto was trapped lbw by Dominic Cork for 62.  Shiv Chanderpaul was bowled by Briggs for 4, leaving Durham 110-3.

Dale Benkenstein added 24 to the Durham total before he became Briggs second victim of the morning session when he was caught by Dawson in the 53rd over.

At lunch Durham were 185-4 with Smith 51* and Blackwell 17*. Smith’s fifty came from 51 balls and included five fours.

The pair continued to score well after lunch with Durham on 234 as Blackwell reached his fifty, which included seven fours, from 69 deliveries. 

Imran Tahir picked up the wicket of Blackwell in his tenth over, after the batsman was caught at short leg by Adams on 56, leaving Durham 263-5 and breaking a partnership of 109.

The visitors were 313-6 as Phil Mustard fell to the same fate as Blackwell, caugth by Adams off Tahir for 35.  Will Smith went on to score his second century of the season from 232 balls, including 12 fours.

Durham were 376-7 when Liam Plunkett was trapped lbw by Tahir for 37, becoming the spinner’s third scalp of the day. Will Smith scored his 150 from 325 balls, including 16 fours and a six before he was caught at long leg by Imran Tahir off the bowling of Griffiths for 150 with the last ball of the penultimate over of the day.

Mark Davies was caught by Adams off the bowling of Griffiths with the first ball of the following over.  At the close Durham were 435-9.

It was a bit overcast as we arrived at the ground this morning but as the warm up began at around 9.00am the sun was starting to break through and it looks like we’ll start on time.  Hampshire are without Dimitri Mascarenhas following his call up to the England One Day side.

Durham won the toss and will bat first, with Scott Borthwick set to make his Championship debut.

Durham – Coetzer, Di Venuto, Smith*, Chanderpaul, Benkenstein, Blackwell, Mustard+, Plunkett, Borthwick, Harmison, Davies.

Hampshire – Adams, Dawson, Lumb, Vince, Ervine, Benham, Pothas*+, Cork, Imran Tahir, Griffiths, Briggs.

Sixteen overs were squeezed in before rain stopped play at about 11.35pm when Durham were 58-0.  Play resumed after lunch with Kyle Coetzer caught behind off the bowling of Briggs for 20 in the second over after the break.

Rain stopped play at 1.30pm with the covers coming on.  The rain continued to get heavier so full covers are on by 3.00pm – not looking good!

4.30pm Play abandoned for the day.

Durham had 29 overs in the middle before play was abandoned and Will Smith faced 32 balls on the Hampshire wicket and he gave us his thoughts, “It’s a funny wicket really. I would have thought given Hampshire’s situation they would have produced a wicket which was fairly flat and they would aim to get a high-scoring and then another high-scoring draw in their next match and they would be safe. 

“But they seem to have produced a result wicket. Whether they intended it to be quite as up and down and dusty as it is, I don’t know. But it certainly is a result wicket.  The real key is getting enough runs. It’s up and down and it will be increasingly so as the game goes on.
“Potentially it could be good for our seamers, Stephen Harmison, Liam Plunkett and Mark Davies.  Mark especially keeps bashing the same point on the wicket as Sean Ervine does.  Normally when wickets are dry and accommodate spinners more, they don’t generally have a great deal in it for the seamers but there is a great deal in this one.”

The team left Riverside at 8.00am on Monday, arriving at The Rose Bowl at around 3.00pm to unload bags and to train on their nursery ground.  The weather is pretty nice, so much so, that this web report is coming to you from a grassy bank overlooking the training session.

From a Club perspective it’s been incredibly busy with plenty of interview requests from the media  which meant Will Smith was kept pretty busy on the way down on the bus.  There are few interviews lined up for this evening too so no rest for the lads!

The Durham flag is already flying next to the dressing room as the session comes to an end – early start in the morning!

Hampshire CCC v Durham CCC
The Rose Bowl, LV= County Championship
Tue 15 – Fri 18 September

Durham County Cricket Club go into their match against Hampshire as 2009 LV= County Champions, having secured the title with a victory over Nottinghamshire at the weekend, however there is still plenty to play for as the side look to maintain their unbeaten record with two four day matches remaining.

Head Coach Geoff Cook has named a thirteen man squad for the fixture which sees Callum Thorp and Scott Borthwick travelling with the eleven that played in the previous match.  Stephen Harmison requires just one more wicket to have taken 400 first class scalps for Durham.

The Durham website will post regular match updates or follow the action as it happens on Twitter (

Michael Di Venuto (23)
Kyle Coetzer (30)
Will Smith (2) Captain
Dale Benkenstein (44)
Shivnarine Chanderpaul (3)
Ian Blackwell (37)
Phil Mustard (19)
Liam Plunkett (20)
Mitchell Claydon (25)
Stephen Harmison (10)
Mark Davies (4)
Callum Thorp (36)
Scott Borthwick (16)