NEVER have Durham been kept in the field for so long. Yorkshire batted for 163.2 overs to amass 589 for eight, beating by five balls the record set by Essex in crawling to 484 at Riverside in 2010.
Even when Brian Lara made 501 not out 20 years ago in a Warwickshire total of 810 for four at Edgbaston the runs came off 27.3 fewer overs.
Yorkshire even continued for ten minutes after tea and their tactic of remorselessly grinding Durham down may be partly inspired by a desire for emphatic revenge following last August’s defeat in the title decider at Scarborough.
But by adding only 117 in the afternoon, compared with 152 in the morning, they provided unremitting tedium for the Bank Holiday crowd.
Even with Tim Bresnan back in the side, Yorkshire’s bowlers found life just as difficult as Durham’s and in 19 overs Mark Stoneman took the reply to 62 for one with an unbeaten 48 before bad light intervened with seven overs left.
Yorkshire’s innings lasted 14 overs more than it took them to score 677 for seven when Darren Lehmann contributed 339 at Headingley in 2006.
At least on that occasion Durham had two off-spinners in Paul Wiseman and Gareth Breese, who delivered 66 overs between them, whereas yesterday they were reduced to asking Stoneman to purvey his gentle off breaks for the first time in the championship.
In 20 respectable overs he conceded 72 runs.
The one recognised spinner, Scott Borthwick, was unable to bowl after damaging a finger in attempting a slip catch on Sunday.
With others occasionally nipping off, possibly for a stimulant to keep them awake, it was at least a memorable day for academy boys Reece Carr and Charlie Parker, the substitute fielders.
Yorkshire’s total was the third highest on the ground behind Durham’s 648 for five against Nottinghamshire in 2009 and Somerset’s 610 for six three years ago.
It’s a myth that Riverside pitches have always favoured seamers because that Somerset total wasn’t the only big one after a dry Spring in 2011.
When Kumar Sangakkara decided to join Durham for two matches he cannot have envisaged spending the best part of his first two days in the field.
Yet the fourth-wicket stand of 198 between Andrew Gale and Jonny Bairstow was small fare to the man who shares the Test record partnership of 624 with Mahela Jawardene for Sri Lanka against South Africa at Colombo.
Sangakkara proved he was still alert in the 155th over when he impressed those members who weren’t slumbering with a very agile piece of fielding for a 36-year-old at deep cover.
Durham had been reduced to going through the motions by then, with Adil Rashid having just been dropped on 40 by Stoneman at mid-wicket. It was one of six missed chances in the innings, although none was easy.
In the match after leaving himself out at Lord’s, skipper Gale top scored with 124, while Bairstow could count himself unlucky to be adjudged lbw for 95.
His was the most impressive innings and he was probably a victim of the Sky cameras confirming to the umpires that they had erred in giving nothing on the first day.
Durham did not look like taking a wicket in the morning as Gale and Bairstow added 152 to the overnight 299 for three.
Having missed the boat on the first day, when there was plenty of movement available, the bowlers found themselves toiling with little assistance.
New Durham signing Kumar Sangakkara in the field at the Emirates ICG yesterday
The morning’s relatively rapid scoring started in the fourth over when Bairstow twice clipped Chris Rushworth to the leg-side boundary.
The wicketkeeper caught up Gale on 46 but the captain was first to his 50 when he drove Rushworth through extra cover for only his third four.
He had taken 108 balls, whereas Bairstow got there off 77, edging Graham Onions wide of the slips for his seventh boundary with one of the morning’s few false strokes.
When Jamie Harrison replaced Rushworth he began with his fifth no-ball of the innings, in which there were 50 extras.
Paul Collingwood’s first ball of the day just before lunch was edged by Gale on 92. Diving to his left, Borthwick got his good hand to the ball, but it was another chance which refused to stick.
Gale finally fell to the medium pace of Keaton Jennings, shaping to run him behind square on the off side and edging to Phil Mustard.
Rashid and Andrew Hodd showed little urgency before tea but came out with all guns blazing afterwards.
It was a new experience for Durham take a second new ball, due after 160 overs, and it quickly claimed three wickets.
Rashid holed out to Sangakkara at deep cover, giving Rushworth a third wicket, and Onions took his first two of the innings in successive balls, prompting the declaration.
He will be on a hat-trick in the second innings, if there is one.
COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE
At Emirates Durham ICG.
Overnight: Yorkshire 299-3 (A Lyth 104, K
S Williamson 97).
Yorkshire First Innings
A W Gale c Mustard b Jennings .........124
J M Bairstow lbw b Rushworth ...........95
A U Rashid c Sangakkara b Rushworth ..68
A J Hodd not out ...............................41
T T Bresnan c Mustard b Onions ...........1
L E Plunkett lbw b Onions .....................0
Extras (b7 lb13 w5 nb25 pens 0) .50
Total 8 wkts dec (163.2 overs) ...589
Fall: 1-29 2-208 3-257 4-455 5-501 6-
588 7-589 8-589
Did Not Bat: R J Sidebottom, J A Brooks.
Onions 32.2-7-83-2. Rushworth 29-6-113-
3. Harrison 25-2-110-2.
Bowling: Wood 30-5-90-0. Jennings 13-2-
39-1. Collingwood 14-2-62-0. Stoneman
Durham First Innings Close
M D Stoneman not out ......................48
K K Jennings c Hodd b Sidebottom ......9
S G Borthwick not out .........................1
Extras (b4 pens 0) ..................4
Total 1 wkt (19 overs) ...........62
To Bat: K C Sangakkara, M J Richardson,
P D Collingwood, P Mustard, M A Wood, J
Harrison, G Onions, C Rushworth
Bowling: Sidebottom 5-0-23-1. Brooks 6-
0-27-0. Bresnan 7-5-6-0. Williamson 1-0-