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MICHAEL Richardson’s liking for the Yorkshire attack continued to keep Durham afloat as he made 95 out of 261 for six at tea, when the lead was 66 with 32 overs left.
On the ground where he made 67 and 73 not out on his championship debut three years ago, Richardson was again a thorn in Yorkshire’s flesh.
He also scored his maiden hundred at Scarborough last year and followed up with 148 against the Tykes at Chester-le-Street this year.
Other than in making 116 at Taunton he has had a lean run since then, but his innings was perfect for the situation today. He got solidly into line but never missed a chance to drive through the off side and several times opened the face to run the ball to the vacant third man area.
There were signs that Yorkshire were losing heart in the first over after lunch, when Richardson hit an Adil Rashid long hop to cover, where Tim Bresnan misfielded.
But that got Gordon Muchall on strike and he fell lbw for five when propping forward to a googly. He looked almost as displeased with the decision as Mark Stoneman earlier.
In the next over a ball from Jack Brooks to Paul Collingwood took off from just short of a length, which could only have heightened the captain’s suspicions about the pitch.
But he dug in for 20 overs to contribute 17 to a stand of 44, during which Durham failed to score a run in six overs from Rashid and Tim Bresnan.
The leg-spinner had conceded only 11 runs in his previous seven overs when Collingwood played back to a ball which turned and bounced to take the edge on the way to Jonny Bairstow.
Durham were 15 ahead by then and Phil Mustard immediately set about stretching the lead as quickly as possible. He opened up with a straight drive for four then swept Rashid’s next ball behind square for another boundary.
At 228 for five after 81 overs Yorkshire handed the new ball to Steve Patterson, but he bowled only two overs before handing over to Jack Brooks.
His sixth ball scuttled through Richardson’s forward defensive stroke to hit leg and middle, leaving John Hastings to survive four overs to tea. Mustard was on 20 at the break.