GRAHAM Clark continued to reward Durham for the time and patience they have invested in him by making his maiden century against Glamorgan at Emirates Riverside yesterday.

The 24-year-old Cumbrian had played in only six first-class games prior to this season, with a top score of 58. But he followed his 83 at Canterbury in the previous game by sharing a pivotal stand of 185 with Paul Collingwood.

Coming together with the game evenly poised, they helped Durham to 280 for four, only 15 behind, with the captain continuing to find second division attacks to his liking in passing 50 for the sixth time in his last seven innings.

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He remained unbeaten on 72, but Clark fell for 109 three overs before the close on a day which brought 354 runs compared with the meagre ration of 221 on the first day.

“Our bowlers deserve a lot of credit for keeping their score in check,” said Clark. “I don't think the pitch changed.

“It was a huge relief to get to 100. It's been a dream of mine since I was five or six years old.

“Durham have had a strong side and I've struggled to make it through into the first team. There have been a few opportunities which I haven't taken. So now I feel a bit more settled in the side.

“Batting with Paul Collingwood is a big help. It makes it easier watching how he goes about it and he absorbed most of the pressure when he came in. He kept apologising for monopolising the strike.”

Fierce pulls in front of mid-wicket brought Clark a six and eight of his 17 fours, but there were also plenty of crisp front-foot strokes.

He also showed patience when slightly becalmed after romping to 50 off 58 balls as both batsmen got solidly into line to keep out the obvious threat from Marchant de Lange.

The big South African hit the pitch hard and there was some variable bounce, Collingwood doing well early in his innings to keep out several balls which skidded on.

Another one leapt to take the shoulder of his bat, giving him a slice of luck as the ball lobbed over gully with his score on six. But he was prepared to take the bulk of the strike early in the stand, wearing down the Glamorgan attack as he accumulated steadily, with only three fours in his 109-ball 50.

The Glamorgan bowlers must be sick of the sight of him after he scored 127 and 92 not out at Swansea last month.

Clark reached his century off 129 balls, 120 faster than Glamorgan's Nick Selman the previous day, when the crawl produced what must be a record number of dot balls for a full day's play at Riverside, amounting to 81.2 overs.

Glamorgan went at a relative gallop yesterday morning, adding 74 in 19.5 overs before Barry McCarthy took the last three wickets.

There was a Wagg in the tail as the only Englishman, Graham Wagg, among five Welshmen, three Australians and two South Africans looked untroubled in making an unbeaten 33.

De Lange chanced his arm and got away with it in making 37, denying Durham the two wickets they needed in the first 14 overs to claim the third bowling point.

He drove McCarthy for a straight six before the Irishman found just enough swing two overs later to find the edge to give Collingwood his 15th catch of the season.

In seven overs Durham reached 15 without loss at lunch, when fans were treated to the sight of Ben Stokes and Graham Onions bowling in the middle.

Stokes is available for next week's day-night match at home to Worcestershire and was running in strongly, while Onions looked a little tentative after his back trouble.

New Zealander Tom Latham has also been around this week and will take over next week from Stephen Cook, who made 14 before de Lange had him caught behind off a nondescript prod which confirmed the South African opener's lack of form.

Jack Burnham contributed 25 to a stand of 41 with Cameron Steel before he edged 19-year-old seamer Lukas Carey on to the chest of wicketkeeper Tom Cullen and the ball rebounded into the hands of Colin Ingram at first slip.

When de Lange returned for a second spell Steel upper cut his first ball for four, drove the second to the cover boundary and watched the fourth balloon over the keeper for four byes.

But in attempting a second upper cut he edged a poor ball to Cullen to depart for 32. That brought in Collingwood, who will be looking to build a big lead today.

Durham are offering £5 entry after 5pm for the clash with Worcestershire, starting on Monday. Using a pink ball to aid visibility, Durham will be playing in their third day-night match after facing the MCC under floodlights in the 2010 & 2014 champion county games.

Play will start at 2pm and continue until at least 9pm.