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12:58pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in Sport
THERE’S not as much cricket in Scarborough’s festival week these days, but it was like the halcyon days as more than 5,000 flocked to see the first day of the potential title decider.
There will not be a bigger crowd anywhere for a day of championship cricket this season and if they expected a run feast on a glorious day it didn’t initially work out that way.
Durham chose to bat on what looked a belting wicket and lost two wickets to Ryan Sidebottom in the third over before going on to reach 117 for three at lunch with Mark Stoneman unbeaten on 73.
Keaton Jennings and Scott Borthwick were both adjudged lbw for nought by former football referee Martin Bodenham, who became a first-class umpire four years ago at the age of 59.
Perhaps he felt that on such a batting paradise he ought to favour the bowlers. The ball which did for Jennings may just have pitched on leg stump and might have swung enough to clip the same pole, but it was marginal.
Two balls later Borthwick played back to a ball which struck him high enough to raise doubts again, although the decision was swift.
Sidebottom had figures of 6-1-14-2 when Liam Plunkett replaced him and conceded 22 in two overs.
Will Smith had faced 31 balls for three but pulled Plunkett dismissively to the mid-wicket boundary and with Stoneman twice driving Steve Patterson through the covers six fours suddenly came in three overs.
Jack Brooks returned in place of Plunkett and snared Smith for 20 when he was brilliantly caught by Kane Williamson low to his right at third slip to end a stand of 62.
Stoneman completed a 70-ball half-century with a slightly risky single to backward point, having hit nine fours.
Ben Stokes had made five when he edged Brooks between third slip and gully, but the return of Plunkett helped him settle as two more overs cost 15, plus four leg byes.
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