Mark Stoneman batting 2012
Durham were led by Dale Benkenstein as their LV= County Championship campaign resumed today at New Road after newly appointed captain Paul Collingwood’s return from fracturing his hand was delayed
After losing the toss and being put into bat Durham lost their first scalp with 26 runs on the board with Will Smith (11) caught at third slip by Moeen Ali off the second delivery by Alan Richardson following a brief stop in play due to rain.
Gordon Muchall and Mark Stoneman steered Durham to the lunch break without further loss but Richardson struck again, breaking the 63 run partnership when the latter top-edged to Vikram Solanki in the slips with his score at 38.
Durham were 94-3 in the 32nd over of the day when Gordon Muchall (25) was caught by Daryl Mitchell, becoming Jack Shantry’s first victim.
He went on to bowl Ben Stokes (22) eight overs later with Durham 127-4 as rain brought play to a halt (Dale Benkenstein 16* and Michael Richardson yet to score).
Despite a few breaks in the rain and the intention to resume, further showers brought play to a close at 5.45pm with just 42 overs possible in the day.
At the close of play Head Coach Geoff Cook said, “I thought Mark Stoneman played a terrific innings which was highly skilful in tricky conditions so that was encouraging. It would have been nice if him or Smith or Muchall could have moved on and been not out overnight but, the other batsmen are good enough and they know how important it is to build on where we are once we start tomorrow.
“We don’t know how the wicket will progress, hopefully we will get three fine days and play for a result but on the evidence of the first day it could well be a low scoring game. It’s both a technical and mental adjustment from t20 but we spoke about it a lot last week, we had a little bit of practice with the red ball so we have made sure that people were trying to get into the right frame of mind for this transition and generally I thought we played OK in tricky conditions.
“I think we have got a good attack for the wicket, Rushworth has been bowling well and Thorp has had a good rest and obviously Onions is in form.”