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2nd September 2010

Muchall century secures Durham lead of 300

Darren Pattinson replaced Ryan Sidebottom in the middle on day three as Nottinghamshire resumed on 257-6.  Liam Plunkett struck fourth ball with Mullaney caught by Benkenstein on 25.  A bowling change in the 102nd over saw Ben Harmison pick up a wicket with his first delivery, Franks caught behind on 7, leaving Notts 298-8.

It was two wickets in two overs for Ben Harmison when Andre Adams was caught in the slips by Michael Di Venuto for 10.  Mitchell Claydon claimed the final wicket of the innings with Pattinson caught by Gareth Breese, who was substituting for Di Venuto, on 19 which saw Nottinghamshire post 343, 29 behind Durham’s first innings total.

At the lunch break Durham were 12-0 having faced four overs.  After picking up five wickets in the first innings Adams struck from around the wicket early on, trapping Michael Di Venuto lbw for 15 as Durham reached 20.  Mark Stoneman added 13 before he was out lbw, becoming Adams second victim.

By the 31st over Dale Benkenstein and Gordon Muchall had extended their partnership to over a hundred, including a fifty from Muchall (off 52 balls including eight fours).

It was fifty for Dale Benkenstein in the over before tea and at the break Durham had amassed a lead of 199 with 170-2 on the board.

The hosts were 179-3 after Benkenstein was stumped off Adams for 58, twelve runs were added to the total before Ben Harmison was bowled by Samit Patel for 11.   Patel claimed a second scalp when Muchall was out lbw on 111, with his century having come off 129 balls including 29 fours.

Durham passed the 250 mark and extended their lead to over 300 in the final session with Phil Mustard and Ian Blackwell in the middle, the latter reaching fifty from 72 balls, including seven boundaries, in the final over of the day.

At the close Durham were 279-5.

At the close of play we spoke to Durham’s top scorer, Gordon Muchall, “It’s my second hundred and to be playing the championship leaders and to have performed against them and put us in a winning position. 

“It’s Notts’ title to lose, they’ve got a good lead and all we can do is try and play some consistent cricket, which we’ve not managed to do this year and finish the season on a high.  I’ve lost count of the number of injuries we’re got, Harmy’s out and he a humongous loss and Mark Davies, who bowled so, so well yesterday. To lose him is a big blow but gives opportunities for others to come in

“I’ think we’ll bat on for a little bit in the morning and there’s plenty on offer for the spinners.  Scotty turned them in the first innings, Samit isn’t a big turner, but there’s foot holes to work with so with a bit of luck we could have a win tomorrow.”