SUPERB bowling by Mark Wood dragged Durham back into the contest at Taunton yesterday before half-centuries by Mark Stoneman and Michael Richardson wiped out a first innings deficit of 79.
Durham finished the second day against Somerset on 121 for one in their second innings with Stoneman on 60 and Richardson 57 after putting on 102.
Wood’s five for 37 was his fourth five-wicket haul in 17 first-class matches and the pace he generated confirmed why the England selectors are interested in him.
An injury to Scott Borthwick didn’t help Durham, although Richardson took his place at No 3 and did an excellent job as he dug in to see off the new ball before playing a few shots. His second pulled six took him to 50 off 89 balls in the day’s last over.
Borthwick has been playing with a minor fracture in the ring finger of his right hand for three weeks and aggravated it when diving to make a stop at second slip.
Durham will decide this morning whether he is able to bat.
When Keaton Jennings pulled Alfonso Thomas to square leg to depart for three, Richardson was struck a painful blow on the hand by the next ball.
He signalled for attention, but Durham physio Nigel Kent had gone to hospital with Borthwick, so there was a lengthy delay before the home physio responded.
Stoneman rode his luck with a good blend of diligence and crisp strokes to score 36 of the first 40 runs, surviving an easy chance when he pulled Thomas to Craig Overton at mid-on on ten.
Two edges might also have brought his downfall, but the first flew past an immobile Marcus Trescothick at second slip off Overton, then on 38 Alviro Petersen failed to hang on off the bowling of left-arm spinner George Dockrell.
Richardson played himself in carefully before, on 16, he pulled Dockrell for four and six and took over the lead role.
Both batsmen had some scary moments during an excellent second spell from the skilful Thomas and will probably need to survive another burst from him this morning.
The first innings deficit looked like being much worse until Somerset lost three wickets for six runs in four overs after lunch, when they were 132 for three.
They were dismissed for 234 as Wood, up to full throttle after feeling his way back from a side injury, led the way on a pitch with good bounce and carry.
There were very few authentic scoring strokes off him as a lot of the runs he conceded flew off the edge to third man. Chris Rushworth also bowled well to finish with four for 30.
Had the forecast been accurate there would have been no play in the morning, but only 20 minutes were lost while the darkest clouds passed by.
The conditions, which improved as the day went on, also helped Wood to swing the ball and he deserved more than to take the only wicket to fall in the session.
He had Johann Myburgh caught by his left boot by Paul Collingwood at first slip for 28 to make it 53 for three but Petersen was missed by the captain on 30 off Jamie Harrison.
The South African Test batsman was also a shade fortunate when he edged Jennings’ first ball, prompting Durham to restore the second slip who had just been taken out.
Wood twice beat Petersen in the last over before lunch, when the stand with James Hildreth was worth 79 and things were looking ominous for Durham.
Hildreth, who hooked a six off Rushworth, failed to add to his 43 before he was caught down the leg side by Phil Mustard off the same bowler.
A superb swinging yorker from Wood took out Craig Kieswetter’s middle stump then Rushworth brought one back to bowl Peter Trego.
Thomas hung around for eight overs to make one before Rushworth had him lbw, then Petersen and Craig Overton took advantage of improving conditions to pepper the boundaries.
Petersen twice lifted Harrison over long-on for six, while Overton did the same against Borthwick before flat-batting a short ball from Rushworth over the rope at long-on.
Harrison finally had Petersen caught at slip by Collingwood the ball after seeing him edge over the same fielder for four.
Wood completed his haul by forcing Dockrell to fend to gully then splattering Jamie Overton’s stumps, leaving his twin unbeaten on 45.
- Ben Stokes will continue his comeback for the second team against Derbyshire at Brandon today before Durham decide, in conjunction with the England hierarchy, whether to pitch him back into County Championship action at Trent Bridge on Sunday.
After Stokes scored a 26- ball half-century and took two for 22 in four overs in a Twenty20 match against Nottinghamshire, second team coach Alastair Maiden said: “He played brilliantly. I don’t think his injury is affecting his batting at all and his contribution to the young lads was outstanding. He was a model professional.”
- Durham are to take a match to an outground for the first time for nine years. They will play Warwickshire in a 50-over Royal London Cup match at South Northumberland on July 31 to celebrate the Gosforth-based club’s 150th anniversary.
Overnight: Durham 155 (S G Borthwick 59; A C
Thomas 5-41). Somerset 51-2.
Somerset First Innings
J G Myburgh c Collingwood b Wood 28
A N Petersen c Collingwood b Harrison
J C Hildreth c Mustard b Rushworth .43
C Kieswetter b Wood.............................. 4
P D Trego b Rushworth .......................... 0
A C Thomas lbw b Rushworth............... 1
C Overton not out ..................................45
G H Dockrell c Mustard b Wood.......... 5
J Overton b Wood.................................... 1
Extras (b12 nb10 pens 0) ..22
Total (68.1 overs) .............. 234
Fall: 1-0 2-32 3-53 4-132 5-137 6-138 7-154
Rushworth 23-5-70-4. Harrison 18-2-74-1.
Wood 18.1-8-37-5. Jennings 3-0-14-0. Pringle
1-0-1-0. Borthwick 5-0-26-0.
Durham Second Innings Close
M D Stoneman not out..........................60
K K Jennings c Dockrell b Thomas ...... 3
M J Richardson not out ......................... 57
Extras (lb1 pens 0) ................ 1
Total 1 wkt (41 overs)........121
To Bat: S G Borthwick, P Mustard, P D
Collingwood, G J Muchall, R D
Pringle, M A Wood, J Harrison, C Rushworth.
Thomas 12-3-24-1. Trego 7-2-10-0. C Overton
4-0-19-0. J Overton 5-0-21-0. Dockrell 8-0-29-0.