Poor session

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

IT was a poor morning for Durham as their remaining two wickets fell in three overs then Lancashire replied to 340 by reaching 78 without loss at lunch.

Ben Stokes showed no faith in the last two Durham batsmen, driving to long-off to depart for 27 and become the fourth left-handed victim in Simon Kerrigan’s haul of four for 86.

Chris Rushworth also fell carelessly, driving to extra cover to leave Tom Smith with five for 45.

Durham had Scott Borthwick on for the seventh over, hoping he could exploit the rough outside left-hander Luis Reece’s off stump.

It did not bode well when the leg-spinner’s first ball was a full toss and several more followed. Although Reece couldn’t score off him, he was still there at lunch, having scored 11 off 59 balls until he edged Stokes for four just before the break.

Paul Horton shrugged off an altercation with Stokes to move steadily to an 86-ball half-century and was on 59 at lunch.

Stokes was annoyed when Horton edged him for two fours in his second over and the fact that the second went straight through where third slip should have been begged the question of why he needed a short mid-wicket and a mid-on.

Another query was why did Durham not follow Lancashire’s example in picking two left-arm spinners as there is no rough of note for off-spinner Ryan Buckley to bowl into.

Left-armer Max Morley has taken more second team wickets this season and when Buckley was introduced for two overs before lunch the results were not promising.

The fact that Borthwick had conceded only 24 runs in eight overs was largely due to him bowling mainly at Reece.

Stokes, fired up after exchanging words with Horton, posed the greatest threat but was out of luck.

ECB pitch inspector Tony Pigott, who was not present on the first day, took a quick look at the surface as soon as the players departed for lunch.

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