County DIV1 2024, DURH vs WORCS 41st Match Match Report, June 30 – July 03, 2024 – Viral News

Durham 190 (Stokes 56, Smith 4-36) and 33 for 3 lead Worcestershire 112 (Potts 4-29) by 111 runs

Ben Stokes top-scored with his first half-century of the season as 23 wickets fell on a day full of drama in the Vitality County Championship match between Durham and Worcestershire at Seat Unique Riverside.

Stokes made 56 in a welcome return to form for the home side in their innings of 190, but Nathan Smith impressed for the visitors by claiming figures of 4 for 36, while Ben Allison and Matthew Waite notched three and two wickets apiece.

Worcestershire looked to be making steady inroads in their reply at 71 for 2 but lost their final eight wickets for 41 runs as Matthew Potts claimed 4 for 29 to bolster his credentials for selection in the first Test of the summer.

Durham entered their second innings with a 78-run lead, but lost three quick wickets, only extending their lead to 111 at the close.

Worcestershire made the most out of advantageous conditions after winning the toss at a gloomy Chester-le-Street. Smith found his line and length immediately to pin Durham captain Scott Borthwick lbw with the fifth ball of the innings. Tom Taylor followed suit with a full length to find Colin Ackermann’s outside edge as Gareth Roderick claimed a fine diving catch in front of first slip.

Division One’s form player David Bedingham responded with a flurry of crunching boundaries, highlighting his pristine touch at the crease. The South Africa international reached 21 before making a rare lapse of judgement, leaving a hooping Ben Allison delivery that crashed into his off-stump. Alex Lees took the attack to Matthew Waite’s first over, scoring two boundaries, but the bowler won the duel as the Durham opener became the fourth wicket of the session.

Ollie Robinson and Stokes stemmed the tide of wickets with a stand worth 46. After being overlooked for the England Test squad, Robinson produced another classy innings, finding the off-side boundary with ease. He made his way to 35 and looked well set to add another score of fifty-plus to his tally, only to fall to a cracking inswinger from the returning Smith before lunch.

Stokes upped the ante after lunch, chancing his arm with booming drives down the wicket. The England skipper did have the odd element of fortune, but still worked his way to a timely half-century from 73 balls ahead of the upcoming Test series against the West Indies. However, Allison returned with a short ball that Stokes’ gloved behind on an attempted hook to fall for 56.

Durham’s innings unravelled after his departure courtesy of Smith and Allison to dismiss the hosts 10 shy of 200.

Potts made early inroads into the Worcestershire line-up by removing Roderick for nine, but the visitors made quick runs against the new ball to put Durham’s bowlers under pressure.

Borthwick turned to Stokes for inspiration and his introduction into the attack should have brought a wicket from his first ball, but Libby was dropped by Bas de Leede at point. Undeterred Stokes found Libby’s outside edge from the following delivery and Lees claimed a routine catch at third slip.

Kashif Ali defied Stokes and Peter Siddle in difficult conditions as the bad light halted play for 30 minutes. The break favoured the home side as the Worcestershire batting ranks collapsed from 71 for 2 to 112 all out.

Siddle started the rout by dismissing Rob Jones and Adam Hose before Ben Raine pinned Ethan Brookes lbw. Potts then took centre stage in his second spell, tearing through the lower order, including Taylor and Smith in successive deliveries.

Amir Virdi survived the hat-trick ball and his resistance allowed Kashif Ali to bring up his fifty with six over the leg-side boundary before the he was final wicket to fall to Raine.

Batting didn’t get any easier in the sunny twilight as Lees, Borthwick and Clark all fell for the hosts with Smith and Taylor amongst the wickets once more with the game very much in the balance heading into day two.

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