Derbyshire’s bowlers shared ten wickets, but the hosts’ lower-order resistance made for an interesting Day Two of the LV= County Championship fixture against Durham.
The hosts were reduced for 142 for seven in their first innings amid fine bowling from Toby Pettman, who claimed figures of three for 40 to race through the Durham batting order. However, Tom Mackintosh led the way with 51 as he and tail provided 154 for the final three wickets. Chris Rushworth, Ben Raine and Stanley McAlindon offered usual cameos to propel the North-East outfit into a narrow lead.
There was time for Rushworth to make inroads into the Derbyshire ranks before the close, leaving the visitors 19 for two at stumps, six runs ahead of the home side heading into day three of the contest.
Derbyshire were on their mettle from the off with the ball to make immediate inroads into the Durham line-up. Ben Aitchison dismissed England opener Alex Lees on his return to the county ranks lbw for only seven, which sparked an early-morning collapse.
Pettman was on the money with his line and length to produce a snorter to remove nightwatch Matt Salisbury before Durham skipper Scott Borthwick left a straight delivery to lose his off-stump for 13. Sam Conners got in on the act to prise out Michael Jones, who played a loose drive to a wide ball and was snagged by Aitchison at first slip, reducing the hosts to 38 for four.
David Bedingham found his feet at the crease and looked fluent against the team he made a career-best 257 in the 2021 campaign. The South African combined with debutant Nic Maddinson to steady the ship with a stand of 72 for the fifth wicket.
However, the Durham innings followed the same pattern as Derbyshire’s as the two set batters were dismissed quickly after lunch. Both Bedingham and Maddinson fell in the same manner, being caught down the leg-side by Brooke Guest to Aitchison and Pettman respectively. Liam Trevaskis opted for an aggressive approach to dig Durham out of trouble, blasting off-spinner Alex Thomson for four and a six over his head, but a third attempt cost him his wicket for 30.
Mackintosh and Ben Raine stabilised the Durham innings and pushed the score beyond 200 to secure the hosts’ first batting point. Raine looked well set at the crease to record another knock of fifty plus, but his aggression against Thomson resulted in a simple catch for Wayne Madsen. Mackintosh was not deterred by Raine’ departure and displayed maturity beyond his years by grinding out his maiden first-class half-century before being bowled by Conners for 51.
Rushworth and Stanley McAlindon defied the Derbyshire attack for the final wicket, with the number 11 producing an aggressive knock of 33 from 27 balls to steer the hosts into an unlikely 13-run lead. It was the highest stand for the 10th wicket for Durham against Derbyshire, and provided a more than useful second batting point.
And, Rushworth used the momentum from his batting display to make two strikes into the visitors’ line-up, removing captain Billy Godleman and nightwatch Conners before the close.
Alex Thomson said: “I was fairly pleased from a personal perspective. From a team perspective we’d have liked to have knocked them over for a few less runs. We would have liked them out for below 250. It was a tough day, but we’ve got plenty of cricket ahead of us. We’ll come back tomorrow and have a good start. You saw with our innings that we had a partnership after we struggled at the top of the order before Leus du Plooy and Anuj Dal put on a great stand, and the last few batters did the same.
“We would have loved to have knocked them over, but it wasn’t to be today. It’s nice to see a result on the horizon after four days, because we’ve had a lot of draws this season. Both teams have been well and truly in this system. The ball has being going up and down, but you can score runs as we saw with Leus’ century in the first innings. The first hour is going to be critical, we’ve got to start well and play with positive intent. If we can get a couple of batters in tomorrow there’s no reason why we cannot get a total on the board and put the pressure on them.”
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