DURHAM can only hope their own tactics in grinding down Nottinghamshire, rather than the flatness of the pitch, enabled Mark Wood and Graham Onions to share a last-wicket stand of 70 in 12 overs.

It took the final total to 471, a lead of 151, and with the 12th ball of Nottinghamshire’s second innings Chris Rushworth nipped one back to take out Alex Hales’ middle stump.

Ed Cowan and Michael Lumb, however, have raced to 45 for one from ten overs at tea and if the hosts continue to bat with their usual fluency they will wipe out the arrears by the close. So everything seems to hinge on how many wickets Durham can take in the final session.

Wood took 24 balls to get off the mark, but needed only a further 39 to reach his maiden half-century and remained unbeaten on 58.

He went to his 50 with his second six, both lifted over the mid-wicket area, while he included a perfectly-executed reverse sweep off Graeme Swann in his four fours.

The ease of batting at this point was emphasised by Onions clubbing Stuart Broad back over his head for four. But he probably realised it was time to bowl when he lofted a catch to mid-off after making 26.

Gareth Breese pressed on after lunch, going down the pitch to drive a lofted straight four in a Samit Patel over which cost 11.

He fell for 44 to the first ball of a new spell from Broad, who had him so palpably lbw that even Steve Garratt couldn’t turn it down.