Jamie Harrison conceded just 16 runs from his nine overs in the second innings
By Rob Scanlon - Durham CCC Head of Media
CLOSE. Essex & Kent 2nd XI (217; Coughlin 5-36 & 245-8; Ball 88*) beat Durham 2nd XI (191 & 270; Pringle 120, Malik 5-65) by two wickets.
Scorecard - Click here
Durham slipped to a narrow two wicket defeat in their final friendly before the second eleven championship campaign gets underway.
A combined Essex and Kent XI reached a victory target of 245 by early afternoon on the final day, with all-rounder Adam Ball's unbeaten 88 proving decisive.
Ball proved to be a thorn in Durham's side throughout the contest. He added to his first innings half-century and match figures of six wickets for 78 runs with a crucial knock that included 11 boundaries.
For the visitors, Jamie Harrison (1-16 from nine overs) bowled tidily and there were also wickets for Adam Hickey (2-35) and Ryan Pringle (1-56).
Durham had a sniff of victory when the hosts were seven down with 168 on the board, but an eighth wicket stand of 75 between Ball and Adil Malik took the game away from Alastair Maiden's side.
Malik eventually fell for a quick-fire 48 from 49 balls, but Ball hit the winning runs off the next delivery.
The 2nd XI are next in action on Monday the 4th of May when they begin a three-day championship match against Nottinghamshire at Richmond.
STUMPS, DAY THREE. Essex & Kent 2nd XI (217 & 100-4) trail Durham 2nd XI (191 & 270; Pringle 120) by 144 runs with six second innings wickets remaining.
Only 28 overs were possible on day three of the second team's friendly against a combined Essex and Kent side at Billericay.
Steady rainfall prevented the players from taking to the field until 4.45pm but the hosts managed to add 94 runs for the loss of four wickets before the close of play.
Gavin Main, a 20-year-old Scottish fast bowler who made his first class debut for Durham 12 months ago, had a hand in three of the four wickets to fall.
Main ran out Liam Gough before dismissing the dangerous Fabian Cowdrey, who top-scored with 72 in the first innings, and then captain Alex Blake.
A 51-run partnership between Adam Ball and Jack Sterland eased the pressure until the latter was trapped lbw by Barry McCarthy shortly before the close.
With the forecast for Thursday looking bright in the Essex town, this game should provide a positive result. The home side need a further 145 runs to win whilst Durham will be searching for six wickets.
STUMPS, DAY TWO. Essex & Kent 2nd XI (217 all out; Cowdrey 72, Ball 53; Coughlin 5-36 & 6-0) trail Durham 2nd XI (191; Pringle 69 & 270 all out; Pringle 120, Hickey 53, Malik 5-65) by 238 runs with ten second innings wickets remaining.
Scorecard - Click here
Paul Coughlin took five wickets and Ryan Pringle hit 120 as Durham 2nd XI enjoyed an excellent day in their friendly match at Billericay.
It took a superb performance from Coughlin to bowl a combined Essex and Kent side out for 217, with the hosts having started the day on a healthy 161-2.
The 22-year-old from Sunderland returned figures of five wickets for just 36 runs in 19 overs, including nine maidens.
Coughlin's heroics meant that Durham only conceded a slender first innings deficit of 26, and Ryan Pringle's second century of the summer ensured that the visitors would set a challenging victory target going into day three.
Pringle, who made 69 in the first innings, reached the boundary 18 times during his 159-ball spell at the crease and an important partnership of 130 between Pringle and promising youngster Adam Hickey (53) eased Durham away from a dangerous position.
When Stuart Poynter, Graham Clark and Gordon Muchall all departed early, Alastair Maiden's side were wobbling on 39 for three.
Essex leg-spinner Adil Malik grabbed five wickets to eventually dismiss Durham for 270, with the home side set 245 to win.
Whilst Pringle and Coughlin deservedly grabbed the headlines, Jamie Harrison enjoyed a productive day as he removed captain Alex Blake to launch the Durham fightback in the morning, and later hit 27 batting at number 10.
STUMPS, DAY ONE. Essex/Kent 2nd XI (161-2; Cowdrey 72) trail Durham 2nd XI (191 all out; Pringle 69) by 30 runs with eight first innings wickets remaining.
Scorecard - Click here
Durham’s 2nd XI found the going tough on the opening day against a combined Essex & Kent outfit.
After being put into bat, Durham found themselves all out for 191 before tea and the hosts replied strongly, finishing 161/2 at the close of play.
Ryan Pringle was the star batsman, making 69 as just four players made a double figure score against an experienced bowling attack.
Things started badly as Stuart Poynter was removed inside the first over and Graham Clark followed soon after, both to David Griffiths.
Skipper Gordon Muchall and Pringle teamed up for the biggest partnership of the innings, putting on 59 to arrest the slide, before the skipper became Callum Haggett’s first wicket.
Two mid-thirty partnerships ensued but once Pringle departed, trapped LBW by Adam Ball, four wickets fell for 25 as a decent platform went to waste.
It took a last wicket stand of 28 between Josh Bousfield and Barry McCarthy to bump the score up towards 200 before the former became Steel’s first wicket.
Paul Coughlin opened up in economical fashion but 58 runs went by before the first wicket, with McCarthy clean bowling Liam Gough.
Adam Ball then joined Fabian Cowdrey and the Kent pair frustrated Durham, putting on 87 before Paul Coughlin snared Cowdrey on 72.
There were to be no more wickets on day one, with Ball and Alex Blake set to open up on Tuesday morning.
By Luke Bidwell