WITH three seamers, plus Scott Borthwick, ruled out, Durham were unable to build on good early progress after Nottinghamshire chose to bat at Trent Bridge this morning.
Chris Rushworth took a wicket with the first ball and Usman Arshad picked up two as the hosts slipped to 29 for three. But with the in-form Samit Patel punishing debut boy Gavin Main, they reached 84 for three at lunch.
Play began half an hour late following rain and Durham included Scotland Under 19 seamer Main in the absence of Graham Onions, Mark Wood and Jamie Harrison.
Onions needs another week to recover from his back injury and was drafted into the commentary team for the one-day international at Chester-le-Street.
After the encouraging start, Durham’s lack of resources became apparent when Main came on first change and was hit for three fours by Patel in his first over. Three more followed in his third.
Then Ben Stokes came on at the other end and opened up with a leg-side wide as he continues to feel his way back from a broken wrist.
Main, 19, from Carluke in Lanarkshire, is a lean six-footer who has been in the Durham Academy since 2011 but has yet to play for the senior Scotland side.
He began the season behind Paul Coughlin in the Durham pecking order of seamers, but the Sunderland lad has also been injured.
Durham went for the experience of Gareth Breese rather than give Ryan Pringle a second game after his chastening debut at Taunton, while Gordon Muchall was retained in the absence of Borthwick.
It was the second successive game in which Durham have taken a wicket with the first ball, although Marcus Trescothick’s golden duck was followed by a blistering 133.
This time Steven Mullaney pushed forward and edged Rushworth to Phil Mustard, then Arshad beat left-hander Phil Jaques several times before having him caught at second slip by Breese.
It was a fine spell by Arshad, who also beat both James Taylor and Michael Lumb before the latter pulled a long hop straight to Keaton Jennings at deep square leg.
From that point the gifts came from Durham and Patel was on 37 at lunch with Taylor on 12.