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Mustard and skipper lead charge
PHIL MUSTARD had been left stranded as the not out batsman in three of his previous six championship innings for Durham, but he had skipper Paul Collingwood for company yesterday as his fearless batting transformed the days’ play.
Durham were 74 for six in reply to Nottinghamshire’s 78 all out when Mustard began clipping the ball effortlessly to the mid-wicket boundary on his way to 77.
He was on 64 when the 100 partnership came up with Collingwood doggedly playing an invaluable role in ensuring that the efforts of his bowlers were not wasted.
Unbeaten on 53 out of 207 for eight at the close, the captain was probably grateful that Nottinghamshire had chosen to bat, despite the 10.15 start, and Durham took up where they left off at Derby on Saturday.
It seemed the visitors might not improve on Derbyshire’s second innings total of 63 when they crumbled to 42 for six. In fact, their innings was shorter in duration as they were all out in just under two hours halfway through the 27th over.
Graham Onions, Chris Rushworth and Jamie Harrison took three wickets each and Usman Arshad one before standing down, as nominated in advance, to make way for Ben Stokes. After playing for England in Southampton on Monday, he drove 310 miles and went in to bat half an hour after his arrival with the score on 45 for four.
He was out second ball then Collingwood almost played on to the next delivery and looked a shade fortunate to survive an lbw appeal from the admirable Andre Adams with his score on two. But the captain soon began to look as immovable as Penshaw Monument.
Nottinghamshire again left out Alex Hales, who is perceived to prefer Twenty20 cricket. But despite the abundance of talent, the whole team now appears more attuned to the one-day game.
They asked for a 10.15 start each day so they can be sure to catch an early evening flight to London on Friday prior to Saturday’s YB 40 final against Glamorgan.
Within an hour they had made a mockery of such precautions.
Choosing to bat at such an early hour was bound to be risky and Durham could even afford two dropped catches by Mustard.
Steven Mullaney took five runs off Onions’ opening over then survived a difficult low chance to Mustard off Rushworth’s first ball. But he added only one run before another edge was picked up by Scott Borthwick by his bootstraps at second slip.
Michael Lumb also failed to cash in after an edged drive was spilled by Mustard off Onions, who swung another one away from the left-hander for the wicketkeeper to make amends.
Jamie Harrison claims the wicket of Notts’ Chris Read
The score reached 39 before four wickets went down for three runs. Riki Wessels was lbw when he played down the wrong line then James Taylor went the same way without offering a stroke.
Samit Patel was at least playing defensively when he edged Rushworth to Mustard before David Hussey drove lavishly and edged Onions to the wicketkeeper.
Skipper Chris Read has made a habit of bailing out his side in recent seasons, but has probably grown tired of having to do it.
He made 11 while putting on 20 with Paul Franks, forcing a double bowling change, but after Harrison’s opening over cost seven Read tried to lift him over mid-wicket and was bowled.
Stout resistance is not Adams’ game and after taking a first-ball single off Harrison he swung wildly at Arshad and lost his leg stump.
After Luke Fletcher confidently got underway with a leg-side clip for four, Collingwood posted a deep mid-wicket and Fletcher’s sweet pickup off Harrison soared obligingly into the hands of Keaton Jennings.
Durham were 16 without loss from three overs at lunch, but the second ball on the resumption was a beauty from Adams, which had Jennings well caught at first slip by Wessels.
In the next over Mark Stoneman tried an over-ambitious cut off a ball from Fletcher which bounced steeply to give Wessels another catch.
Will Smith and Michael Richardson fell to good balls from Adams before Stokes edged a drive to third slip.
Borthwick showed survival was possible by making 29, but was guilty of relaxing when Adams finally rested after a 13-over spell.
Nottinghamshire bowler Harry Gurney delivers to Phil Mustard
After driving left-armer Harry Gurney’s second ball for four Borthwick drove wide of off stump at the next and edged to the wicketkeeper.
But with the help of some sprightly running Collingwood and Mustard applied some pressure and gradually took the game away from the visitors.
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