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DURHAM improved their slender chances of victory by taking four wickets this morning, leaving Yorkshire on 351 for five at lunch, leading by 52.
Ben Stokes removed both overnight batsmen after a stand of 264, then Jamie Harrison struck with the first delivery with the new ball and Chris Rushworth bagged the crucial wicket of Jonny Bairstow ten minutes before the break.
It was a well-deserved wicket for Rushworth, who almost had Gary Ballance with his score on nine.
The chance just about carried to Phil Mustard and Rushworth followed up with a good shout for lbw in an excellent over. Stokes was hit for two fours by Ballance in the next over and the left-hander was on 21 at lunch.
Stokes ended the second-wicket stand in the day’s fourth over when he had Kane Williamson caught at gully by Will Smith for 97.
The New Zealander was so disappointed about falling within sight of a century for the second time in the match that he failed to acknowledge the applause from a crowd of around 2,000.
Twice that number were needed to beat the four-day aggregate of 19,677 who attended when Yorkshire clinched the 2001 title by beating Glamorgan on this ground.
Many fans would have been deterred by the fact that Yorkshire couldn’t win the game, despite Phil Jaques’ claims to the contrary after making 151 not out yesterday.
Still 23 behind at the start, they would have had to score remarkably quickly to be in a position to set Durham a target. But they added only 75 in the morning session, which went as well for Durham as they could have hoped in the continued absence of Mark Wood with a side strain.
Jaques added only one before he edged a beauty from Stokes to Mustard and Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale fell for five when he edged Harrison to third slip.
The catcher was Michael Richardson, who also clung on to a low chance at mid-wicket offered by Bairstow after making 34.
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