MIDDLESEX 100-1
DURHAM 204 ALL OUT

Steady bowling by Middlesex and reckless Durham batting enabled the unbeaten leaders to dominate the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship first division match at Lord’s.

After skittling Durham inside two sessions for a below-par 204, Middlesex went in at stumps on 100 for one after 36 overs, to trail by 104 going into day two. Batting in the best conditions of the day Middlesex openers Stephen Eskinazi and Nick Gubbins survived the initial examination set by Durham’s wily new-ball pairing of Graham Onions and Chris Rushworth, who extracted plenty of lateral seam movement off the green-tinted wicket.

The hosts’ first alarm proved to be a near run out when Eskinazi was left to dust himself down after being felled by Onions. The bowler had stood his ground after bowling the delivery off which the South Africa-born batsman stole a cheeky single. Onions switched to the Pavilion End to eventually get his man in the 23rd over when Eskinazi (42) pushed down the wrong line to have his off and middle stumps pegged back.

Onions should have celebrated a second success soon after when Gubbins, on 39, edged a back-foot defensive push only for keeper Michael Richardson to down a sharp chance. The split-second spill encapsulated Durham’s sloppy day. Having batted first on a lush pitch and after winning the toss on a cloudy first morning in NW8, Durham abetted greatly in their own demise as they were dismissed within 60 overs.

The hosts will resume in the morning with Gubbins (42*) and Compton (10*) at the crease.

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TEA UPDATE

DURHAM 204 ALL OUT

Middlesex spinner Ollie Rayner bagged four for 17 and seamer James Franklin three for 26 as Durham lost their final six wickets for 104 runs to be dismissed by tea for 204 on the opening of their Specsavers County Championship clash at Lord’s.  

Having lunched uneasily on 100 for four, Durham’s malaise continued 11 balls after the resumption when Michael Richardson (17) mistimed a pull shot to pick out Dawid Malan at mid-wicket and give Murtagh his first wicket.

Then, four runs and three deliveries later, Paul Collingwood (9) drove loosely at a length ball from Harry Podmore to be caught in the gully by Nick Compton. Left-hander Adam Hickey looked all at sea in reaching seven, after playing and missing several times he finally edged a defensive push to be caught behind by Simpson to give Kiwi left-armer a third wicket.        

Eighth-wicket partners Mark Wood and Paul Coughlin forged an alliance to add 40 inside 9.1 overs before Coughlin’s patience snapped. Smearing across the line against Rayner, he fell lbw for 39 to make it 170 for eight. Durham were only two short of posting their sole batting bonus point when Chris Rushworth (15) inexplicably charged down the pitch against Rayner and slogged a catch to mid-on to give Middlesex their third bowling bonus point.

Mark Wood ploughed on to take his side beyond 200 but, with his score on 36, Wood slog swept Rayner out to deep mid-wicket where Paul Stirling claimed a two-handed diving catch to polish off the Durham innings by 3.45pm. Off-spinner Rayner finished with figures of four for 17, but Kiwi left-armer Franklin had been the pick of the home attack with three for 27.

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LUNCH UPDATE

DURHAM 100-4

Having posted 74 for their first wicket Durham conspired to lose four wickets without addition to their total and in the space of 16 balls during an action-packed first session at Lord’s.

Batting first after winning the toss on the opening morning of this Specsavers County Championship Division 1 clash, Durham limped in at lunch on 100 for four after 29 overs.

Visiting openers Mark Stoneman and Keaton Jennings made a shaky start under cloudy skies and the northernmost county should have lost Stoneman with four against his name when the left-hander edged one from Tim Murtagh to second slip, only for Ollie Rayner to parry a simple chance to the ropes at third man.

Durham blossomed for the next hour and had 74 on the board when disaster struck with the loss of four quick wickets. Stoneman (46) started the collapse when a top-edged pull against James Franklin skied to keeper John Simpson. Franklin struck again in his next over, snaring Jennings lbw with an in-ducker that sent the South Africa-born batsman packing lbw only eight runs short of his 1000th first-class run for the summer.

Scott Borthwick (0) was next to go when he pushed at a turning delivery from Rayner that beat the edge to clip the top of off stump.

Without addition Michael Richardson pushed to point and, with no single likely, sent back Jack Burnham who lost the race back to the non-striker’s end where Rayner gathered Murtagh’s throw to complete the run out.

Durham’s demise should have continued to the next delivery when Michael Richardson, in attempting to cut too close to the body, edged one from Rayner to slip only for Stevie Eskinazi to juggle and drop a regulation chance.