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18th April 2010

Durham fight for a draw against Essex

Durham resumed play on 147-2 with Di Venuto 75* and Benkenstein 62*.  Both went on to the high nineties before Benkenstein was caught by Maunders off Phillips for 98, ending the 212 run partnership between the two.  Ian Blackwell joined Di Venuto at the crease and they added nine to the total before Alastair Cook helped Phillips claim his second wicket of the innings when he caught Di Venuto one run short of his century. 

Durham were 233 – 5 after Ben Stokes became ten Doeschate’s only scalp of the innings after he was caught by Godleman. 

At lunch Durham were 243-5, 41 behind Essex’s fist innings total with two sessions remaining and Blackwell and Phil Mustard at the crease.  After the break the two batsman extended their partnership to over 50 which took Durham level with the visitors. 

Shortly after the board ticked past 300, signaling a 16 runs lead, Blackwell was bowled outright by Phillips for 52, bringing Liam Plunkett, who was out lbw to Phillips five balls later, to the middle to join Mustard. 

Mustard went on to pass the fifty mark, having faced 79 balls and including nine fours, and then move onto 60 before light drizzle brought play to a halt just before 4.00pm.  

Play resumed at 4.12pm with the score 340-7 and a lead of 54 for Durham.  Twelve runs were added before rain stopped play a second time and after the umpires inspected and the rain got heavier the teams shook hands and declared the game a draw. 

Essex claim nine points and Durham four points. To see the match action as it happened view our ‘Live Match Chat’ ( or if you want to discuss the game with other supporters visit our forum. spoke to Will Smith at the close play.  This will be uploaded shortly.  Highlights of day four will be uploaded on Monday morning.