MICHAEL RICHARDSON must have developed a dislike for Yorkshire while at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire.
He and Mark Stoneman have been regular thorns in Tyke flesh and they again defied the championship leaders yesterday.
An unbeaten 57 by Phil Mustard helped to secure the draw at Headingley, which took Yorkshire five points clear at the top. But they will see it as an opportunity missed, especially as chances went down.
Richardson was dropped by Tim Bresnan at extra cover on 27 and went on to make 95, while Stoneman’s 86 set the platform for a total of 323 for eight.
Durham were still not safe at 290 for eight, 95 ahead with 24 overs left, but Mustard continued to mix solid defeance with crisp strokes and found a staunch ally in Mark Wood.
It was all over for Yorkshire when, in the final over before the last hour, Mustard drove two fours off Bresnan, who had a poor day as he was also guilty of two bad misfields.
The boundaries took Mustard to 50 off 73 balls and the lead to 124.
Hands were shaken shortly afterwards with 11 overs left.
Richardson made 67 and 73 not out on his championship debut at Headingley three years ago and scored his maiden hundred at Scarborough last season.
He followed up with 148 against the Tykes at Chesterle- Street this year, but other than in making 116 at Taunton he had had a lean run since.
His innings was perfect for the situation yesterday.
He got solidly into line but never missed a chance to drive through the off side and showed particular skill in running the ball to the vacant third man area.
Stoneman, who has made centuries in each of the last three Durham matches against Yorkshire, led the resistance in the morning 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 s kipper Paul Collingwood claimed was deteriorating badly.
There was uneven bounce but after resuming on 35 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 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.
Stoneman was cut down on 86 when he was adjudged lbw to Adam Lyth, a decision with which he clearly didn’t agree.
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 had Stoneman lbw when playing well forward. The batsman apparently felt he had nicked it on to his pad.
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 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 Stoneman.
In the next over a ball from Brooks to 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 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 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 Patterson, but he bowled only two overs before handing over to Brooks.
His sixth ball nipped back and scuttled through Richardson’s forward defensive stroke to hit leg and middle.
Shortly after tea John Hastings gloved a leg-side bouncer to Jonny Bairstow off Brooks, who then had Paul Coughlin lbw with a yorker.
It was a tense situation, but Wood was quickly off the mark with a cover drive for four to take the lead to 100 before he settled for blocking for dear life.
At Headingley Carnegie.
Overnight: Yorkshire 426 (A Lyth 143, A Z
Lees 108; M A Wood 5-87).Durham 231
(P D Collingwood 64 no, K K Jennings 56;
A U Rashid 4-73) and 59-1.
Durham Second Innings
M D Stoneman lbw b Lyth ....................86
S G Borthwick lbw b Brooks................. 8
M J Richardson b Brooks .....................95
G J Muchall lbw b A U Rashid............... 5
P D Collingwood c Bairstow b A U
P Mustard not out .................................. 57
J W Hastings c Bairstow b Brooks .... 11
P Couglin lbw b Sub ............................... 6
M A Wood not out.................................... 8
Extras (b6 lb8 pens 0)........ 14
Total 8 wkts (113 overs) .. 323
Fall: 1-39 2-64 3-150 4-166 5-210 6-250
Did Not Bat: C Rushworth.
Bowling: Sidebottom 11-1-41-0. Patterson
17-3-58-0. Brooks 23-7-66-4. Bresnan 17-
6-41-0. A U Rashid 33-10-85-2. Lyth 11-3-
18-2. Finch 1-1-0-0.
Yorkshire (13pts) drew with Durham (9pts)