Little joy

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

BEN Stokes took one of the two wickets to fall this afternoon, but conceded runs at an alarming rate as Lancashire reached 213 for three.

It had been hinted that the door remained ajar for Stokes to return to the England team for the second Test, but on this evidence he will be with Durham for some time.

His first eight overs, bowled in two spells, cost 65 runs, but he improved when returning to bowl downwind just before tea, despite bowling a seventh no ball.

Both wickets to fall resulted from sliced drives to Michael Richardson at gully, the first getting rid of opener Alex Davies after adding only five to his lunchtime 41.

Lancashire’s pair of left-handed overseas men then looked very comfortable in adding 111 and it was a surprise when Usman Khawaja became Paul Coughlin’s first championship scalp.

The Australian, who scored nought and 21 here last summer in the last of his nine Tests, fell for 86 to a good low catch by Richardson.

Ashwell Prince was unbeaten on 48 at tea with Steven Croft on one.

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