ON an almost cloudless morning Durham continued to grind it out. But soon after accepting that they had better press on Will Smith drove Samit Patel to mid-on to depart for 153 with 20 minutes to go to lunch.

That brought in Mark Wood, who has looked a natural stroke-player in his other apperances at Trent Bridge. But he is still not off the mark.

Only 67 runs have been added this morning in perfect batting conditions and Durham have reached 364 for eight to lead by 44 runs with Gareth Breese on 23.

Smith said last evening a lead of 100 could be useful, but if Durham achieve that it will not be before mid-afternoon and on a flat pitch they will have to bowl exceptionally well to put Nottinghamshire under pressure.

Hopes of pressing on this morning vanished with the departure of Phil Mustard for 21, adjudged caught behind off Stuart Broad. He did not appear to agree with the decision of Steve Garratt, who has continued in his refusal to give lbw decisions.

Smith looked fortunate to escape on 136 when he played back to ball from Luke Fletcher which kept a shade low and rapped him on the pads.

Smith turned the day’s sixth ball from Ajmal Shahzad to the mid-wicket boundary to earn the third batting point with three overs to spare before the 110-over cut-off.

It was 85 minutes later that he edged his only other four of the morning off Fletcher and in total he hit 18 fours and faced 393 balls.

Breese began by twice driving Broad through the off side for three, but 30 minutes elapsed before he scored his next run. He has not looked in any difficulty other than in piercing the tight field.