Close, Day Four: Durham 2nd XI (402/3d & 219/4d) beat Gloucestershire 2nd XI (249/8d & 218; Main 3/18) by 154 runs
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Durham’s second string rounded off their preseason fixtures with a thumping 154-run win over Gloucestershire.
Starting the day on 192/4, some quick run-scoring from Calum MacLeod and Adam Hickey extended their partnership to 90 before Paul Coughlin declared for a second time.
Gloucestershire made a good start in pursuit of an unlikely 373 for victory, reaching 112 without loss.
Hickey came up with the goods, though, capturing Cameron Bancroft’s wicket before later moving fellow opener Brandon Gilmour as the hosts collapsed from 141/1 to 149/4.
Usman Arshad was on a hat-trick as well, having removed George Hankins and Graeme van Buuren in successive deliveries.
Two more fell in the afternoon session and although first innings centurion Benny Howell remained firm, the last four wickets fell around him in the final session of the game.
Gavin Main picked up three and Gurman Randhawa added another as they chalked up another impressive win.
Neil Killeen’s side now go into Tuesday’s T20 opener with Leicestershire full of confidence after three red ball victories on the spin.
Close, Day Three: Durham 2nd XI (402/3d & 192/4) lead Gloucestershire 2nd XI (249/8d; Howell 100*) by 345 runs
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Durham remain in charge after Day Three at Gloucestershire but face a fight for victory at Bristol.
The hosts declared yesterday afternoon after an unbroken ninth wicket partnership of 90 between centurion Benny Howell and Matt Taylor hauled them up for 249.
After calling the declaration to try and set up a winnable scenario for both teams on the final day, Durham raced out of the blocks to finish 192/4 from 35 overs.
Graham Clark was once again the lynchpin of the innings, striking six boundaries in a 22-ball 35 as they raced to 50 inside five overs.
Clark's wicket stalled Durham's momentum and wickets at regular intervals followed.
Phil Mustard and Gordon Muchall both nicked behind while Stuart Poynter, in sensational form over recent weeks, could only make 20 before Taylor had him caught by skipper Tom Smith.
However, all-rounder Adam Hickey went on the charge late on, scoring 35 from 29 balls as he and Calum MacLeod put on 63 unbroken.
The pair will look to score quickly on the final morning before declaring and giving themselves enough time to bowl Gloucestershire out.
Howell earlier pulled his side from 159/8 with a counter-attacking century including 11x4s and 6x6s.
Barry McCarthy added one wicket to his overnight tally while Gurman Randhawa and Usman Arshad chipped in to reduce the hosts to 81/5.
There was a brief recovery through Howell and Graeme van Buuren before the latter's wicket sparked a run of 3/5; another for Arshad and two for Gavin Main.
Close, Day Two: Gloucestershire 2nd XI (34/2; McCarthy 2/8) trail Durham 2nd XI (402/3d; Poynter 75) by 368 runs
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Four players scored half centuries before two late wickets by Barry McCarthy put the Seconds in command against Gloucestershire.
Stuart Poynter continued his excellent recent form while Graham Clark, Gordon Muchall and Adam Hickey all passed 50 as Durham declared on 402/9.
McCarthy then set the hosts back with wickets in as many balls, clean bowling both Brandon Gilmour and George Hankins, to leave them two down ahead of Day Three.
Neil Killeen's side lost early preseason matches to rain but are more than making up for that loss with exceptional individual performances.
Opener Clark has been rock solid at the top of the order and registered another half century alongside Muchall in the opening stages of the day's play.
Both were removed alongside Calum MacLeod as three wickets fell for 21 runs, but Poynter and Hickey recovered well in a 131-run partnership.
Wicketkeeper Poynter has been in particularly good form, passing 50 in all three red ball fixtures, while all-rounder Hickey is returning from injury in fine form, too.
And after they were dismissed, the lower-order added 85 before stand-in captain Paul Coughlin called time upon reaching 400.
McCarthy then picked up from last week's five-for at Kent/Essex to remove two top-order batsmen and put the Seconds firmly in control at the half way stage.
Close, Day One: Durham 2nd XI (92/1) vs Gloucestershire 2nd XI
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Durham Seconds started well on Day One of their four-day friendly with Gloucestershire before rain intervened to curtail play.
Graham Clark (36*) showed signs of his recent good form while Gordon Muchall (29*) joined him in an unbroken 56 partnership.
But bad light forced the players off and though they reappeared briefly, play was halted soon after and they did not get back on after 17.2 overs.
Phil Mustard was the early wicket after stand-in captain Paul Coughlin elected to bat first upon winning the toss.