DURHAM cashed in on the first day’s hard graft by progressing to 404 for eight this morning, adding 139 runs for the loss of three wickets.

Phil Mustard fell for 91 and his overnight partner Gareth Breese departed 15 minutes before lunch for 62, while Usman Arshad and Jamie Harrison both made sprightly contributions.

Resuming on 265 for five, ground out in 96 overs, Durham began to accelerate in the day’s fourth over when Mustard square drove Maurice Chambers for four then pulled the next ball to the fine leg boundary.

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Two overs later he clipped Chambers through mid-wicket for four and the next ball reared out of the foot-holes, easily clearing the wicketkeeper for four byes.

Four leg byes brought up the 300 in the 103rd over and with seven overs to get the 50 runs needed for a fourth batting point there was an outside chance Durham might go for it, based on their progress in the previous few overs.

However, Mustard seemed to get the jitters on 90, possibly as a result of his determination to prove he can build centuries in responsible fashion following his promotion to No 5.

He drove twice at Azharullah and missed, and was then beaten by a shooter before attempting to leave a ball from Steven Crook, only to nick it to the wicketkeeper. His restrained knock had spanned 185 balls.

Arshad emerged and began so confidently that the fourth bonus point still seemed possible, but in the end Durham were 12 runs short on 338 for six after 110 overs.

Arshad made 20 off 25 balls before edging a drive off James Middlebrook to slip, but Harrison played with equal fluency in reaching a career-best 38 not out at lunch.

After playing only five championship games in five years, Breese’s 62 was his highest first-class score since making 121 not out in the match at Canterbury in which Durham clinched their first title. He over-balanced when trying to clip away a ball from Andrew Hall which was well wide of leg stump and was the victim of a slick stumping by David Murphy.