MARK Stoneman, who has made centuries in each of the last three Durham matches against Yorkshire, led the staunch resistance as the visitors reached 163 for three, only 32 behind, at Headingley this morning.
But after resuming on 35 he was cut down on 86 when he was adjudged lbw to Adam Lyth, a decision with which he clearly didn’t agree.
Stoneman was joined by Michael Richardson in raising Durham’s survival hopes after Scott Borthwick inexplicably padded up to the seventh ball of the day and was lbw to Jack Brooks.
The third-wicket pair put on 86, allaying fears that Durham would collapse in a heap on a pitch which skipper Paul Collingwood claimed was deteriorating badly.
There was uneven bounce but Stoneman called on all his skills in defence and attack to build confidently on a 109-ball half-century.
He pulled and cover drove successive balls from Tim Bresnan to the boundary to move into the 70s and when two short extra covers were posted he found the narrow gap to drive another four off Steve Patterson.
With two left-handers in at the start, Yorkshire had seen fit to open up with Lyth’s part-time off spin but he was removed after bowling three overs.
He was recalled 20 minutes before lunch and Stoneman played well forward down the line of off stump. Umpire Richard Illingworth must have felt the ball had gone straight on, rather than turned, in which case it is surprising that it was missed by a batsman who was playing so well.
Richardson also played extremely well to reach 45 at lunch, when Gordon Muchall was on three.