KEITH Barker continued to torment Durham this morning, taking two wickets in the day’s seventh over and the slump continued until the Duke rode to the rescue.
It was not quite all guns blazing, but John Hastings was not afraid to put bat to ball in reaching 50 at lunch, when Durham were 1161 for seven. The unbroken stand with Mark Wood, who was on 11, was worth 45.
With Chris Wright off the field with a stiff back, Warwickshire had Rikki Clarke operating from the Lumley End and Durham made comfortable progress in the first 20 minutes.
Scott Borthwick and Gordon Muchall added 16 runs to the overnight 62 for three before Muchall was adjudged lbw for the third successive championship innings. At least two of those decisions have looked questionable.
Two balls later Paul Collingwood pushed forward to a ball slanted across him and edged Barker to Clarke at second slip.
Three wickets had gone down for five runs when Phil Mustard drove at Clarke and edged to Will Porterfield at third slip.
At 83 for six Hastings joined Borthwick and they enjoyed some respite when Barker was rested with figures of 18-7-33-4, having come into the match with only 21 wickets this season. Presumably hoping he could replicate Barker’s swing, Warwickshire brought on Jonathan Trott ahead of Boyd Rankin but Hastings clubbed him down the ground for two fours in his first over.
Trott’s four overs cost 27, but when Rankin replaced Clarke he struck in his second over when Borthwick played back to a ball which kept low and had him lbw for 46.
That made it 116 for seven, but Hastings continued to go for his shots and when off-spinner Jeetan Patel came on his third ball was launched for six wide of long on.
The clash of giants went Hastings’ way when he cracked a back-foot four through the covers off Rankin and when Barker returned a straight drive for four took the Australian into the 40s. He completed a 63-ball half-century by late cutting Patel for four off the last ball before lunch.
*Durham’s one-day captain, Mark Stoneman, has received a penalty under the ECB’s discipline code for showing dissent when given out lbw on 86 to Yorkshire’s part-time off-spinner Adam Lyth at Headingley last week. He was reported by umpires Richard Illingworth and Richard Kettleborough. The three penalty points will remain on Stoneman's record for two years. He claimed afterwards he had edged the ball.