WITH batting looking a little less hazardous in the evening sunshine, Durham had cause to regret abandoning their match-winning policy of batting second yesterday.

They were all out for 189 at home to Somerset, who recovered from 34 for two to reach 147 for four at the close of the first day, with Graham Onions off the field for most of the final session. He was reported to be “feeling under the weather.”

After seeing his side record all four wins this season when batting second, Paul Collingwood gambled on winning the toss that going in first might glean a few batting points.

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It didn't as zero points were recorded for the fourth successive match, casting grave doubts over Durham's title credentials after going into this match only four points off the top.

They turned around the last championship match at Worcester in astonishing style and with cricket becoming increasingly unpredictable they might do so again. But they will have to bat much better in their second innings.

Collingwood was probably ruing his decision by the time he fell lbw to Craig Overton for a duck, but from 46 for three Durham progressed to 117 through Keaton Jennings (49) and Michael Richardson (32).

Jennings' most productive stroke was the cut and he was a little fortunate on 43 when an uppish one off Groenewald flew between gully and backward point.

He was even luckier two balls before lunch, when he would have been run out had a shy from gully hit the stumps. But he added only one run after the break before looking justified in being unhappy with the lbw decision when trying to whip Tim Groenewald through mid-wicket. The ball had swung enough to suggest only a passing acquaintance with leg stump.

Three overs later the gentle pace of Jim Allenby somehow induced a ball to leap at Richardson, who fended to second slip, where Marcus Trescothick parried it above his right shoulder and held on to the rebound.

Calum MacLeod sliced the second ball he faced to backward point off Allenby and is now averaging 16.1 in the championship.

When Paul Coughlin stayed on his crease and was lbw to Groenewald three wickets had gone down in ten balls for one run.

The slump was stemmed by a brief counter-attack from John Hastings as he Gordon Muchall shared a 50 stand in 48 balls before Overton removed both to finish with four for 40.

Muchall took ten balls to get off the mark then began to play shots, hitting front and back-foot fours through the covers off Overton.

Hastings also set about the paceman, receiving a bouncer and a lengthy stare before a yorker splattered his stumps after making 28 off 27 balls.

Muchall went for 24 when he pushed forward and edged another good ball to Trescothick at second slip. Chris Rushworth was last out when he spooned Peter Trego to extra cover.

In the first over of Somerset's reply Trescothick survived a confident lbw appeal from Rushworth before the next big shout brought his downfall for 26 in the first over after tea.

Tom Abell had edged a drive at Rushworth to the wicketkeeper, but at 34 for two James Hildreth settled in cautiously. He had made six off 33 balls when he hit two fours and survived a chance to Scott Borthwick at second slip, all in the same Hastings over.

After contributing 35 to a stand of 73 with Myburgh, Hildreth surrendered to Borthwick's second ball, pulling a long hop straight to mid-on.

Tom Cooper did something similar, picking out mid-wicket off Rushworth, before Allenby kept Myburgh company to the close. Myburgh, who made 115 in the opening match against Durham at Taunton, completed a 92-ball half-century with a four off Borthwick in the final over.