Abandonment forced after heavy rain

Abandonment forced after heavy rain

Abandonment forced after heavy rain

Result: Durham (525/6d; Steel 224, Latham 124, Richardson 85) drew with Leicestershire (124/4)

Day Four of the Specsavers County Championship match between Durham & Leicestershire was abandoned an hour before the scheduled start of play at Grace Road.

The umpires convened shortly before ten o'clock after heavy & persistent rain carried on throughout the night in Leicester.

With the rain showing no signs of abating & parts of the outfield sodden underfoot, they were left with no option but to call the match off.

 

Durham (525/6d, Steel 224, Latham 124, Richardson 82) lead Leicestershire (124/4) by 401 runs.

Heavy rain and a saturated outfield meant play had to be abandoned without a ball being bowled on the third day of the Specsavers County Championship match between Leicestershire and Durham at the Fischer County Ground.

 

Durham (525/6d, Steel 224, Latham 124, Richardson 82) lead Leicestershire (124/4) by 401 runs.

Durham's bowlers drove home the advantage after the visitors had made their highest score against Leicestershire since becoming a first-class county.

Teenage seamer Matthew Potts picked up two wickets as the Foxes lost four wickets in the final session of the day. The 18-year-old from Sunderland trapped Colin Ackermann leg before with a delivery that stayed low, before producing a lifter that Harry Dearden could only edge to third slip, where Tom Latham took a sharp catch in front of his face.

Chris Rushworth made the first breakthrough, knocking Paul Horton's middle stump out of the ground when the experienced opener had reached 38, and had added 62 with Dearden when Leicestershire began their reply.

The foundation of Durham's imposing 525-8 was Cameron Steel's 224, the 21-year-old becoming the youngest double centurion in Durham's history.

The California-born Steel, who began the day on 145, reached his 200 off 384 balls, hitting 24 boundaries in the process, before being caught at backward point as the visitors looked to accelerate past 500.

Having been dropped twice the previous day, by Dearden at second slip on 50, and by Aadil Ali at backward point on 129, Steel was fortunate again on 165 when Ajmal Shazhad found the edge of his bat with a full delivery, only for Horton to put down a chest-high chance at first slip.

The next ball from Shahzad, a half-volley, was driven for four, and the following delivery from the same bowler, a long-hop, pulled to midwicket for another boundary, a sequence summing up the inconsistency of a Foxes attack missing five senior seamers.

Having failed to take a wicket throughout the first two sessions of the first day, Leicestershire made it three sessions out of four as Michael Richardson and Steel extended their unbroken fifth wicket partnership to 147 at lunch.

The afternoon session, however, saw a clatter of wickets as Durham began to throw the bat. one of which was that of Steel, one of four victims for Neil Dexter, the veteran all-rounder marking his return from injury by finishing with 5-71, by some margin his best bowling of a much-disrupted season.

He also picked up the wickets of Ryan Pringle, Michael Richardson and Potts as Leicestershire, having previously put down a total six chances, finally remembered how to catch.

Durham (324/4; Steel 145* & Latham 124*) lead Leicestershire by 324 runs. 

Durham Openers Cameron Steel and Tom Latham both scored centuries as Durham took full advantage of batting first on a good wicket against a severely depleted Leicestershire attack.

New Zealand international Latham became the sixth Durham batsman to score a century for the county on debut against another county.

The 25-year-old left-hander gave one chance, on 69, steering a short delivery from Neil Dexter high to backward point, where Gavin Griffiths could not hold the ball two-handed above his head, but having survived Latham made no further mistakes before bringing up his century off 144 balls with a six pulled over midwicket, courtesy of a long-hop from occasional off-spinner Colin Ackermann.

By that stage Latham and Steel, who was himself dropped on 50, by Harry Dearden low to his right at second slip off Ajmal Shahzad, had already brought up Durham's highest partnership of the season, as well as setting a new opening partnership record for their county against Leicestershire.

Latham also brought up the Durham 200 with a six, again pulled off Ackermann, but on 124 feathered a catch behind off Dexter, who on his return from injury was comfortably the pick of the Foxes bowlers.

With seamers Clint McKay, Matt Pillans, Ben Raine, Zak Chappell and Richard Jones , as well as top run-scorer Mark Cosgrove, all unavailable, the Foxes drafted triallist Shahzad into the eleven, but the former Yorkshire, Notts and Sussex paceman did little to convince those watching he might be worthy of a long-term playing contract.

Having been put down by Dearden, Steel went on to bring up his century off 242 balls, hitting ten fours in a hard-working effort, but having looked distinctly ragged during the afternoon, Leicestershire fought back well after tea.

Latham's dismissal was the first of three wickets to fall in the space of 19 runs: Jack Burnham gave left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson the charge, heaved, missed and was stumped by several yards, and then Graham Clark top-edged a Dieter Klein bouncer to Shahzad at long leg. Steel and Paul Collingwood then added 56 for the fourth wicket, though Steel was again fortunate to be dropped by Aadil Ali on 129, at backward point off the unfortunate Shahzad.

Shortly before the close Collingwood unaccountably padded up to a Klein delivery that would have hit middle stump. Steel, however, remained unbeaten, and at the close of play had left his previous first-class score, 128 against Northamptonshire earlier this season, well behind him.

ITPS2015