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21st August 2019 Match Reports

Mark Cosgrove scores century as Durham are held against Leicestershire

Day Four

Durham 544-9 v Leicestershire 236 & 363/8 draw with Leicestershire

A defiant century from Mark Cosgrove salvaged a draw for Leicestershire on the final day of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash against Durham at Emirates Riverside.

The Australian began the day unbeaten on 21, with his team still 155 runs behind the home side. He battled throughout to keep the Durham bowlers at bay, even using his head on one occasion. Cosgrove held his composure, scoring his first century of the campaign to save his team from defeat before bad light ended the contest.

Durham were frustrated in their attempts to claim the victory, although the pitch at the Riverside for once was not helpful to seam bowling. James Franklin’s men remain in contention for promotion, extending their unbeaten run in the Championship to seven games.

Leicestershire began the day with Cosgrove and Colin Ackermann at the crease still trailing the home side by a significant margin. The two batsmen were able to see out the first hour with relative ease as the Durham bowlers were unable find life from the pitch. Cosgrove did provide one moment of bemusement in his otherwise untroubled morning, opting to leave a Ben Raine delivery that struck him straight on the helmet.

Ackermann found his range to dispatch Liam Trevaskis for back-to-back boundaries before pulling Carse to the fence to bring up the fifty partnership from 139 deliveries. They fended off the threat in the morning session, reaching the interval unscathed, although still with work ahead to erase the deficit.

After the interval, Cosgrove continued his impressive stand by moving to his half-century, drilling the ball through the covers to the fence from a short Carse delivery. Ackermann joined his team-mate by hitting two boundaries from the same over, reaching his sixth fifty of the campaign. The duo carried on their resistance, working their way past their century stand. However, Ackermann fell to Trevaskis by edging the ball to first slip.

The home side attempted to put the clamps on Leicestershire, although Cosgrove remained a thorn in their side. Raine was able to dismiss Harry Dearden, who played down the wrong line and lost his off-stump. Nathan Rimmington’s introduction into the attack from the Lumley End produced the wicket of Harry Swindells to give Durham hope of forcing a result at the tea break. Cosgrove and Gavin Griffiths held firm amid pressure from both seamers and spinners in the evening session. Durham captain Ned Eckersley tried to force the issue with time against his team after the visitors had edged into a slender lead.

Trevaskis and Cameron Steel struck to remove Griffiths and Chris Wright to put the pressure on. Cosgrove upped the ante to notch his century from 261 deliveries, saving the game for Leicestershire as bad light brought a premature end to the game.

Day Three

Durham 544/9, (Lees 181, Burnham 86, Eckersley 71, Carse 43; Davis 3/100) lead Leicestershire 236 & 153/3 (Azad 53, Horton 52; Carse 6/63; Azad 57) by 155 runs

Brydon Carse produced career-best figures to put Durham in control of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash against Leicestershire, although the visitors mustered a resilient response after being forced to follow-on at Emirates Riverside.

Carse continued his surge from day two when he accounted for three of the four Leicestershire wickets to fall. The 24-year-old added another three scalps to bowl the visitors out for 236, ending with 6-63, while Chris Rushworth also struck twice.

Leicestershire were asked to follow-on still trailing the hosts by 308. However, they were dogged in the afternoon and evening sessions as Hassan Azad notched his second half-century of the game. Carse added another strike, while Cameron Steel notched a late wicket to keep Durham on course for victory, requiring another seven wickets on the final day, still leading by 155 runs.

The visitors resumed on day three on 152-4 in their first innings with the hope of grinding down Durham’s advantage. Carse had an early burst at Colin Ackermann and Chris Wright after his impressive burst the previous evening.

The two batsmen managed to see off the threat, but Ben Raine’s introduction provided the first breakthrough of the morning as Ackermann edged to Peter Handscomb at second slip.

Wright scored 27 valuable runs, but Carse returned to remove the nightwatchman, who was adjudged to have feathered a catch through to Ned Eckersley. The visitors needed a partnership to prevent Durham taking complete control of the contest. Harry Dearden and Harry Swindells held firm until the lunch break.

Their patience was rewarded in the afternoon as they reached their fifty partnership, adding important runs for the seventh wicket. However, the arrival of the new ball proved to be their downfall as the two players were out in successive deliveries. Swindells fell first lbw to Rushworth before Carse claimed his fifth strike of the innings by dismissing Dearden.

Carse’s impressive spell continued as he notched his sixth wicket to take him to his career-best figures when Will Davis chipped the ball straight to Nathan Rimmington at mid-off. The Leicestershire innings ended with a whimper with Gavin Griffiths losing his off-stump after leaving a straight delivery from Rushworth.

With a lead of 308 Durham enforced the follow-on for the first time since August 2017. They almost made inroads when Paul Horton edged a Carse delivery to slip, but Peter Handscomb failed to cling on with his diving effort.

Carse’s pace caused problems for Azad, striking the left-hander on the helmet. Both players survived the new ball and like the first innings were able to build a solid partnership, putting on a stand of fifty in the 21st over to slow reduce the deficit.
Durham were searching for a breakthrough and got one as Horton edged a Raine delivery through to Eckersley down the leg-side. Azad scored his second fifty of the game, displaying patience to reach the milestone from 125 balls.
However, Carse’s pace was too much for him once again, guiding a riser behind to Eckersley. Neil Dexter and Mark Cosgrove looked to see out the rest of the day, but Steel pinned Dexter lbw in the final over to leave the visitors with a huge challenge ahead to avoid defeat on the final day.

Day Two

Durham 544-9 (Lees 181, Davis 3-100) Leicestershire 152-4 (Azad 53, Carse 3-36)

Three wickets from Brydon Carse has put Durham in a strong position after day two of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash against Leicestershire at Emirates Riverside.

The hosts were able to captailise on their excellent performance from day one, recording their highest total of the campaign. Ned Eckersley scored an unbeaten half-century in his first game as captain before declaring on 544-9.

Leicestershire’s openers Paul Horton and Hassan Azad provided resistance as both players notched half-centuries, but Carse struck three times with his extra pace to reduce the visitors to 152-4 at the close, still 392 runs behind the hosts.

Durham began the morning session with the opportunity to build on their platform from day one. Nathan Rimmington scored quick runs to move the hosts towards the 400-run mark. The nightwatchman hit two boundaries through the off-side against Will Davis, but the bowler had his revenge to bowling Rimmington for 25. Eckersley arrived at the crease and guided his team over the mark, reaching maximum batting points for the first time at home since August 2017 against Derbyshire.

Liam Trevaskis worked his way patiently to 37 after being dropped by Harry Swindells. However, Gavin Griffiths broke through his defences, pinning the left-hander lbw to deny him a half-century. Eckersley continued his knock after the break, although the pace of the home side’s innings was disrupted by the weather.

The newly-appointed skipper found his timing after missing the Vitality Blast fixtures, recording his third half-century of the season from 59 deliveries, including three boundaries. Carse at the other end upped the ante as the hosts pushed beyond the 500-run mark, eclipsing their highest total of the campaign. Eckersley was given a life on 63 as fatigue appeared to wear down the Leicestershire attack when Griffiths dropped a simple chance at fine leg.

Carse attempted to push for his half-century, but was run out seven runs short of the milestone by Wright. Eckersley immediately called time on Durham’s innings, walking off with an unbeaten 71. Leicestershire needed a solid response from their openers and received it from Azad and Horton. Both players survived lbw shouts, but were able to grind out their fifty partnership in the 15th over.

After tea, Horton was also caught short of his ground by Carse at the non-strikers end, with the ball just missing the stumps. The latter made the most of his escape, scoring his third half-century of the season from 81 deliveries. Leicestershire were finding the pitch to be tame, blunting the home side’s attempt to take control of the contest.

Horton brought up the century stand for the first wicket with a single down to fine leg. However, from the first delivery of the next over he produced a loose drive to a rising delivery from Carse and was caught at slip by Angus Robson. The Durham quick notched his second wicket of the over as Neil Dexter feathered an edge behind to Eckersley. Azad resisted at the other end with a strong defence, reaching his fifty from 117 balls.

Trevaskis made further inroads for the hosts when he turned one through Mark Cosgrove’s bat and pad, dismissing the veteran for 21. Azad’s stoic knock was ended by a brilliant delivery from Carse, with the opener helplessly gloving to Peter Handscomb, who produced a fine diving catch at leg gully to hand Durham momentum at the close.

Day One

Close, Day One: Durham (385/5; Lees 181, Burnham 86)

A superb innings of 181 from Alex Lees has handed Durham the perfect start to their Specsavers County Championship Division Two match against Leicestershire at Emirates Riverside.

Without Cameron Bancroft, the home side needed a performance from one of their frontline batsmen. Lees came to the fore with his best display since signing for the club last year, notching his highest score for the county.

Lees batted at an excellent tempo throughout, working in partnerships with the upper and middle order to move Durham into a dominant position at the end of the day. Jack Burnham fell just before the close for an innings of 86, handing a rare moment of joy for the Leicestershire bowlers, who toiled all day at Chester-le-Street.

The home side were inserted after an uncontested toss, and Lees was assertive in his approach from the off at the crease to allow Durham to settle into their innings. He and Cameron Steel were able to safely see off the threat of the new ball, reaching their fifty partnership in the 15th over.

Lees settled into a rhythm and scored successive boundaries through the off-side to notch his half-century – the first of his milestones of the day. Steel’s innings came to end on 24 when Gavin Griffiths found his outside edge and Colin Ackermann took the catch, having previously edged the ball through the slips early in his knock.

Angus Robson joined Lees at the crease on his Durham debut. The two players guided the hosts over the 100-run mark before Robson was pinned lbw by Will Davis. Peter Handscomb, replacing Bancroft in the line-up, found his form at the crease to ease the pressure on Lees. It allowed the opener to move seamlessly through the nineties.

Lees eased his way to his third century of the campaign from 137 balls by pulling a delivery from Chris Wright through the leg-side to the fence. He survived a near miss when he edged a delivery behind from Wright later in the over, although for the second time in the day it travelled between Harry Swindells and Paul Horton. Handscomb was proving to be a good foil at the other end in a stand worth 77 as the Aussie made his way to 29 before he was removed lbw by Wright.

Lees was undeterred and carried his team to their first batting point before he and Burnham upped the ante before the tea break. The duo put the Leicestershire attack to the sword, elevating the run rate beyond four per over, reaching the fifty partnership for the fourth wicket in just 51 deliveries. The second batting was achieved just before the interval with the hosts adding 159 runs in the afternoon session alone.

After the restart, Lees quickly notched his 150 – the first time he had achieved the milestone as a Durham player. Burnham’s aggressive style at the other end propelled the hosts towards the 300-run mark, notching his fourth half-century of the campaign cutting a short Davis ball to the fence. Burnham brought up the century stand in style, smashing a short Davis delivery, but this time over the rope.

Durham worked their way past the 300 to secure a third batting point as Lees and Burnham continued to pile on the runs. Lees survived a good shout of lbw from Abbas on 170, but after adding 11 further runs the seamer snagged his wicket trapping him in front of off-stump, ending an outstanding innings from the Yorkshireman. Burnham and Liam Trevaskis added the fourth batting point, although the former fell just before the close for a fine knock of 86.

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