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10th August 2009

Durham CCC v Lancashire CCC As it happens

Best weather conditions so far this week as we arrive at Old Trafford with the sun already shining.  As the players come on to the field the PA wishes Durham member Alf Reilly, who has travelled down to the game today, a happy 75th birthday – we’d like to pass on our best wishes too!

Keedy and Lungley return to the crease to face Will Smith’s opening over of the day from the Brian Statham End and Graham Onions from the Stretham End.  Ian Blackwell replaces Smith the following over and had an lbw appeal turned down first ball.

Lancashire were all out for 265 after Blackwell had Keedy (17) caught by Stoneman on the fifth ball of his next over, which also saw the spinner record a new career best, 7-85, off his 38.5 overs.

Blackwell at Lancashire

Lancashire waited until the seventh over to bring on Keedy, having opened with Hogg, who he replaced at the Brian Stratford End, and Newby.  There was a missed opportunity for Lancashire early on when Michael Di Venuto was dropped on one at first slip by Paul Horton, off the bowling off Hogg.  Parry replaced Newby in the 12th over for a five over spell before Laxman took over bowling duties in the 22nd over.

Keedy picked up the first scalp of the innings when Stoneman was caught, a diving catch from Du Plessis at leg slip, on 33, leaving Durham 60-1.

At lunch Durham were 65-2 after Will Smith (1) was caught by Sutton off the bowling of Laxman, who was awarded his County Cap during the interval.

Gordon Muchall and Di Venuto’s fifty partnership came off 68 balls with the former contributing 30 and the latter 18.  Di Venuto went on to post his second half century of the match, passing the milestone with a four off Lungley.  Di Venuto’s fifty was from 113 balls and included five fours.  

After 42 overs Durham were 126-2.  The pair steadily added to the score before Muchall was caught by Chilton in Du Plessis’ fourth over for 40, bringing Dale Benkenstein to crease with Durham’s total 153.

At tea Durham were 182-3 with Di Venuto 81* and Benkenstein 15*.

Nine balls after the break Di Venuto is caught by Horton on 84, giving Keedy his second wicket and leaving Durham 186-4.  Durham pass the 200 mark in the 67th over.

Durham were 235-5 after Blackwell was caught by Sutton off Parry for 25.  At the close of play Durham were 256-5 with Benkenstein 48* and Mustard 9*.

Play started on time at Old Trafford this morning with Graham Onions bowling the final ball of the over that was interrupted by rain last night.  

Callum Thorp took the ball at the Brian Statham End and after an lbw appeal was turned down from his second delivery, he struck next ball with Paul Horton caught behind by Mustard for 0, leaving Lancashire 1-1.

Lancashire were 16-2 after Thorp struck again in his fourth over with Parry trapped lbw for 2.  Bowling changes at the Stretford End in the 13th and the Brian Statham End in the 18th over saw Mark Davies and Ian Blackwell come on for their respective first spells.   By the 20th over Loye and Laxman appear to have settled into their partnership and are scoring well.

The pair reach their fifty partnership, all off the bat, from 111 balls with Loye contributing 35 and Laxman 15.  Loye goes on to reach his half century off 77 balls, including four four’s and three sixes.

At lunch Lancashire are 81-2 from 31 overs.

Ian Blackwell picked up four wickets in the ninety minutes after the lunch break and at one point was in line for a hat-trick.  Lancashire were 101-3 after Loye (60) spooned a shot up high for Mustard to easily catch in the 38th over.  The next three wickets fell within five deliveries with Chilton (9), Du Plessis (0) and Sutton (0) all out lbw leaving the hosts 123-6.

Thorp returned at the Stretford End for the 51st over and after what seems like an eternity Laxman reaches fifty having spent 176 minutes at the crease, facing 126 balls and hitting four fours.  With wickets falling quickly and no further partnerships established it felt like he had been stuck on 48 for absolutely ages.

Blackwell continued to bowl from the Brian Statham End and Dale Benkenstein bowled two overs from the Stretford End just before tea.  At the break Lancashire were 170-6 with Laxman on 76, having looked untroubled in his innings so far, and Hogg 18*.

Blackwell continued at the Brian Statham End after tea with Plunkett taking bowing duties at the Stratham End.  A double bowling change in the 77th and 78th over saw Benkenstein replace Plunkett at the Stretford End and Will Smith come on for his first spell, replacing Blackwell at the opposite end.

Having put on 84 Laxman and Hogg’s partnership came to an end when Laxman was caught on 87 at mid wicket by Liam Plunkett, who had to dive to his left to keep hold of the ball, off the bowling of Dale Benkenstein.

Graham Onions came on at the Stretford End in the 80th over to bowl with the new ball and Blackwell returned at the Brian Statham End the following over, striking twice, with both Hogg (42) and Newby (1) being dismissed lbw, leaving Lancashire 213-9.

Keedy and Lungley battled well to see off a couple of bowling changes, with Thorp coming on at the Stretford End in the 89th over and Smith taking the ball at the Brian Statham End in the 92nd over.  Blackwell changed ends, replacing Thorp at the Stretford End for the 95th over.

At the close of play Lancashire were 252-9.

It was quite overcast at Old Trafford this morning but it did brighten up as the warm up’s took place.  Since we were last here the foundations and the basic structure of the new stand to the left of the pavilion is now in place.  The stand is part of a £12 million development called The Point, which will also include a conference and banqueting centre capable of catering for up to 1000 covers.


Will Smith won the toss and elected to bat first.  Of the thirteen man squad that travelled Mitchell Claydon and Scott Borthwick miss out.

Durham: Di Venuto, Stoneman, Smith*, Muchall, Benkenstein, Blackwell, Mustard+, Plunkett, Thorp, Davies, Onions
Lancashire: Loye, Horton, Laxman, Chilton, du Plessis, Parry, Sutton+*, Hogg, Lungley, Newby, Keedy

Hogg and Newby open the Lancashire attack and Durham started well with Michael Di Venuto scoring fifty, including five fours, from 46 balls. 

The opening pair put on 87 before the first wicket fell, Stoneman trapped lbw by Keedy for 33.  Di Venuto was caught at mid off by Hogg in Keedy’s next over which left Durham 88-2.  Having started his innings with 959 Championship runs to his name this innings had pushed Di Venuto passed the 1000 run mark in the competition, only the third batsman int he country to do so this season.

At lunch Durham were 107-2 with Gordon Muchall on 14* and Will Smith 2*.

Moments of note after lunch included Muchall and Smith running four where only a single should have been possible after an overthrow from the covers.  Tom Lungley, making his Lancashire debut after signing from Derby on a four week loan, began his first spell in the 36th over.  

Mark Chilton and Muchall had a collision between the wickets in the 41st over which saw both players knocked off thier feet.  Three overs later Muchall became Lungley’s first victim after he was trapped lbw for 39, leaving Durham 149-3.

Will Smith was dropped on 26 by du Plessis at backward point when Durham were 160-3.  Smith was caught behind off Parry without adding to his score a few overs later.

A new ball was required in the 60th over after the secodn of Blackwell’s sixes went out of the ground.  In the same over Dale Benkenstein was caught at gully by Horton on 16, giving Keedy his third wicket of the day.

Phil Mustard was out with the last ball before tea after he was caught by Chilton off Keedy for 7.  At tea Durham were 207-6.  Quite a few Durham supporters have made the trip to Manchester to support the side, either with the Supporters Travel Club or under their own steam so it’s nice to bump into some familiar faces!

Travel Club

Ian Blackwell (29) became Stephen Parry’s second victim after he was caught by Chilton in the 69th over.  Callum Thorp and Liam Plunkett added 56 between them before Thorp (32) was caught by Chilton off Keedy, who at the time had taken 5-36.  After 93 overs Durham were 269-8.

Durham were 270-9 after 93.3 overs after Graham Onions (0) became Chilton’s fourth catch at short leg, this time off the bowling of Lungley.

Keedy finished with 6-85 off his 36.1 overs after Liam Plunkett was caught at backward point by Stephen Parry for 28.

Durham’s first innings total was 270, with two bonus points picked up.

Graham Onions opened the Durham bowling attack from the Stretford End but only managed to bowl 5 balls before it started to rain (at around 5.50pm) play was brought to a close.  Lancashire 0-0.

Having travelled through rain for the majority of the journey to Manchester, the Durham squad arrived at Old Trafford on Monday just as the drizzle was coming to a stop, giving them the chance to practice.

Last time the two sides met was at Riverside in early June when Durham won by 138 runs and picking up 18 points.  It was the match Andrew Flintoff made his comeback from injury in front of a busy crowd and a packed press box.  

A fifty from Phil Mustard and 45 from Mark Stoneman had put Durham in good stead in their first innings while 74 from Ian Blackwell in the second innings was important to keeping the home side in the game after the top order didn’t manage to establish lasting partnerships.  The Durham attack benefitted from the presence of Stephen Harmison, who took nine wickets in the match, and Graham Onions, who took seven wickets.

Lancashire CCC v Durham CCC
Tue 11- Fri 14 August, Old Trafford
LV= County Championship

Durham travel to Old Trafford this week for their LV= County Championship fixture against Lancashire, which starts on Tuesday (11 – 14 August).

The Durham side will be looking to extend their 22 point lead over Somerset at the top of the division one table.  A thirteen man squad will travel including Graham Onions, who has been released by the ECB to play in this fixture.  Leg spinner Scott Borthwick also travels following his appearance in last week’s NatWest Pro40 fixture against Worcestershire Royals.

Michael Di Venuto (23)
Mark Stoneman (26)
Will Smith (2)
Gordon Muchall (24)
Dale Benkenstein (44)
Ian Blackwell (37)
Phil Mustard (19)
Liam Plunkett (20)
Callum Thorp (36)
Mitchell Claydon (25)
Graham Onions (9)
Mark Davies (4)
Scott Borthwick (16)