Di Venuto century
Durham posted a first innings total of 237 and having been asked to follow on were 227-3, thanks to a century from Michael Di Venuto, trailing Somerset’s first innings score by 146 at the close, with their total 227-3.
Once Durham lost Skipper Phil Mustard (33) lbw to Kirby the Durham tail added just 53 runs for the final five wickets of the first innings.
Benkenstein, the second highest scorer having posted 33 played on and was bowled by Hussain, who also claimed the scalp of Scott Borthwick (15), who was caught by Buttler.
Callum Thorp (7) was caught in the slips by Marcus Trescothick off Willoughby and Ian Blackwell, who batted with Will Smith as runner, added 14 but was caught at cover by Kirby becoming Hussain’s fourth victim without a change to the total.
Graham Onions (2) was the last man to fall with Durham’s total at 237, trailing Somerset by 373 runs and therefore enforced to follow on.
Michael Di Venuto and Will Smith worked hard to get in and whilst not piling on the runs they batted effectively to do the job that was required to ensure an early wicket wasn’t lost. Their opening stand of 89 was brought to an end when Smith was out lbw to Trego for 30.
Muchall and Di Venuto then began taking advantage of the less accurate deliveries and slowly started to make headway into the number of runs required.
At tea Durham were 127-1 with Di Venuto 73* and Muchall 21*.
Muchall smashed a few boundaries and reached fifty from 54 balls, including ten fours, which also moved the partnership up to 77 and the deficit to 200.
Di Venuto thoroughly deserved his hundred, which included nine boundaries, having faced 192 balls. Two wickets within four overs put a dampener on the determined efforts of the afternoon with Muchall out lbw on Trego for 61 and Di Venuto (112) caught at slip by Trescothick off Kirby, leaving Durham 214-3.
At the close of play Durham were 227-3, trailing Somerset by 146, Stokes 6* and Benkenstein 10*
Gordon Muchall said on the day’s play, “Today we turned up knowing we needed to bat for the two days to save the game. It didn’t go so well this morning but the sun came out and the wicket flattened out a bit so we managed to get ourselves into a position where we can still fight on tomorrow.
“Me and Diva got to single figures in the overs tonight and started to think about surviving to the next day but we didn’t manage it today. Ben Stokes is in there now with Dale Benkenstein so if we can put on another good partnership their heads could soon drop and you never know what might happen.
“This wicket has got better as the games have gone on in previous games and a couple of times we’ve made sides follow on and it’s backfired so we know we’re in with a chance of saving the game. We’d be struggling to win but confident we can save it.”