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14th April 2011

Richardson knock boosts Durham total

The Durham openers batted well putting on 106 before Di Venuto (74) became the first man out having looked comfortable out in the middle, falling lbw to Richard Pyrah.   

Durham lost a second quick wicket when Gordon Muchall was dismissed second delivery, becoming Pyrah’s second wicket when he was caught in the slips.

By the lunch break the visitors had passed the hundred mark with opener Will Smith (35*), replacing the injured Mark Stoneman, and Ben Stokes (0*) at the crease.

Smith (37) was run out with a direct hit from Patterson leaving Durham 116-3.  A further three wickets fell with just 18 runs added to the total.   Ryan Sidebottom struck twice, trapping Dale Benkenstein (0) lbw and then going on to clean bowl Blackwell for just 1.  Mohammed Ashraf picked up the third lbw decision of the innings which saw Ben Stokes dismissed for 14.

Michael Richardson, deputising behind the stumps for the sidelined Phil Mustard (toe)  and Scott Borthwick steadied the innings with a fifty partnership and the former going on to score a half century on his Championship debut (from 55 balls, including nine fours and a six).  

Borthwick became Sidebottom’s third wicket when he was caught behind on 13  with Durham 196-7.
The side picked up our first bonus point just before the break and were Durham 212-7 after 64 overs at tea, Plunkett 8* and Richardson 61*.

Richardson was dismissed for 67 when he was caught at third slip off Pyrah in the 73rd over which then saw Callum Thorp join Liam Plunkett.   The pair dug in and put on a fifty partnership which guided Durham past the 300 mark.
Plunkett notched up 50, including six boundaries, in 100 balls and was to remain unbeaten and was to remain unbeaten on 65 at the close of play.

Thorp was caught by Brophy in the deep off Rashid for 41 as Durham stood at 317-9. The final man into the middle was Graham Onions, making his return to competitive cricket, who at the end of the day was 6*, with Durham 326 -9.

At the close of play we caught up with Championship debutant Michael Richardson, “I was nervous today but sometimes that’s not too bad. What I find harder is watching other players going out and striking the ball and you think, how am I going to do that. I’d rather play for the situation than for technique, if you’re in a tough situation and you can get your runs by hitting the ball to third man then the runs are what matter rather than the technique, at this stage of my game.  

“It’s the first game Phil has missed in almost a hundred games so I wanted to perform well , I played the whole pre season and felt quite comfortable so when I got told I was playing first thing this morning I wanted to really do well.  Even though I had got runs last year I don’t think I would have been the number one batter to come into the team but having the keeping as well meant that I was a straight swap for Colonel. ”