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9th April 2009

Rain delays play at Lord’s

Will and the MCC captain Robert Key did the toss at 10.30, with the MCC winning and electing to field first on what is a fairly overcast day in London.  From the thirteen man squad that travelled Ben Harmison and Gareth Breese missed out on a place in the starting eleven.

After the toss the MCC and Durham teams gathered in the Harris Gardens for a team photograph.  The Durham squad was joined by representatives from Premium People Group, who signed as County Championship  partners with the Club for the 2009 season.

Team pic at Lord's

The pavilion at Lord’s was fairly full as the MCC team took to the field and play started on time with Michael Di Venuto facing the first ball of the day, and Mark Stoneman joining him at the crease.

Durham CCC Chief Executive, David Harker, said, It’s a very traditional day in the cricketing calendar and to be part of that is wonderful.  To walk into the ground and see ‘MCC v Champion County’ posters, with Durham being the Champion County is a nice feeling.”

Will Smith added, “It’s great for the club and it’s a sign of where the club’s taking things and where they are committed to going to in the next few years.  We can’t just rest on our laurels”

The Durham side finished the days play on 244-4 with Michael Di Venuto (53) and new signing Ian Blackwell (63*) both passing the 50 mark.  Blackwell will return to the crease on Friday morning alongside captain Will Smith who finished on 43*.  Mark Stoneman hit 49 before being bowled by Tim Bresnan.

On his first appearance for Durham Ian Blackwell said, “I was really pleased to go out there and score runs today.  This match meant a lot to the Durham squad, it was important for us to go out there and post a high first innings score and hopefully I can add to that in the morning.” 

Day 2 saw Ian Blackwell hit the first century of the 2009 season after hitting a quick fire century, reaching 101 off 102 balls, including 16 fours.  A few overs previously captain Will Smith had reached the half century mark and at the time of Blackwell’s ton was 69*