Report by Tim Wellock

Day 4

A stand 151 between Scott Borthwick and Mark Stoneman ensured Durham were able to hold out for a draw in the Specsavers County Championship match against Warwickshire at Chester-le-Street.

Durham were only ten behind with eight wickets standing when Stoneman fell for 80 and Borthwick went on to make 91 before he departed five balls before hands were shaken.

Rikki Clarke came on bowling off spin and his first ball was so wide of off stump Borthwick could not resist flailing at it, only to get a big inside edge into his stumps.

Durham were on 195 for three, 21 ahead with 22 overs still availabel when a draw was declared, Warwickshire taking 11 points  and Durham eight.

It was a welcome return to form for Borthwick, whose form slumped when he was widely reported to be on the verge of England selection.

Things looked ominous for Durham when, with 84 overs to bat, they lost Keaton Jennings for a duck in the fifth, when he pushed forward and edged Keith Barker behind.

But Borthwick was soon stroking Barker effortlessly through the covers, while Stoneman had made only one when he whipped Chris Wright over long leg for six.

Patel came on for the 14th over and conceded only seven runs in his first nine overs, going closest to a breakthrough when Stoneman missed an attempted cut on 45 and was almost bowled.

A repeat of the stroke brought the three runs which took him to 50 as nine runs suddenly came off Patel’s tenth over.

Both batsmen completed their half-centuries off 93 balls and continued neck and neck as Durham reached 162 for one at tea, only 12 behind.

Stoneman was bowled by Patel without addition, but Jack Burnham survived to the close on ten not out.

Resuming on 344 for seven in the morning, Warwickshire added 37 in ten overs, losing Tim Ambrose for 50, before declaring 174 ahead. Barker was unbeaten on 43.

Day 3

Only eight overs were bowled on the third day of Durham’s Specsavers County Championship match against Warwickshire at Chester-Le-Street.

The visitors added 29 runs without loss to reach 344 for seven, stretching their lead to 137.

Despite the gloomy conditions, Tim Ambrose and Keith Barker were not in too much difficulty, although Barker edged Chris Rushworth just short of Michael Richardson at third slip.

Following morning rain, play began at 1.45 with the floodlights on. But 30 minutes later the umpires had to go along with the ruling that the natural light was not good enough and it showed no sign of improvement.

Day 2

Ian Westwood doggedly rode his luck to make 127 and put Warwickshire in command of their Specsavers County Championship match against Durham at Chester-le-Street.

Without ever looking secure, the left-handed opener left his season’s previous best of 45 way behind before falling to the second new ball.

He was the middle victim as Warwickshire lost three wickets for seven runs after losing only one wicket in each of the first two sessions to reach 265 for three.

Tim Ambrose’s unbeaten 28 took them to 312 for seven from 108 overs at the close, leading by 108.

Westwood was dropped after a dreadful start to the season and was only recently recalled following a double century in the second team.

His willingness to graft on a pitch offering assistance to the bowlers was the hallmark of an innings in which there were plenty of edges, but only one went to hand before he was out.

He was on 39 when Michael Richardson failed to hang on to a sharp, head-high chance at third slip.

Westwood produced one of his best strokes, a cover drive for his 15th four off Paul Coughlin, to complete his first century since April last year off 219 balls.

Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell both fell in the 40s after surviving searching examinations from Chris Rushworth and Graham Onions.

Trott was troubled by Rushworth in his post-lunch spell, but looked comfortable against the back-up bowlers, only to spoon a catch to deep square leg off Barry McCarthy.

Onions beat Bell three times on seven, then almost bowled him via inside edge and pad, but the visiting captain began to prosper when Durham turned to Scott Borthwick’s leg spin. Two balls which were slightly short were worked in front of mid-wicket for four.

When Durham took the new ball Rushworth immediately beat Westwood on 108 then the next ball was edged through where third slip should have been.

The luck suddenly changed when Bell tickled a leg-side ball from Rushworth to wicketkeeper Stuart Poynter.

Of the three fours Westwood added after his 100 two were off the edge, but his 264-ball innings ended when Borthwick dived to his right from second slip to give Rushworth his third wicket.

Having been out of luck all day since gaining an lbw decision against nightwatchman Chris Wright, Onions threw up his arms in exasperation when he beat Sam Hain.

But when he made way for Coughlin, Hain was adjudged to have edged behind and trudged off in apparent disbelief.

Rikki Clarke made only two before playing on when trying to drive McCarthy, leaving Keith Barker to keep Ambrose company to the close.

Day 1

Jeetan Patel widened Durham’s spin-inflicted wounds when he wrapped up the tail with five for 32 as Warwickshire dismissed their hosts for 207 in their Specsavers County Championship match.

Durham have been spun to defeat on dry pitches away from home in their last two games and would not have expected to encounter first-day turn in seam-friendly conditions at Chester-le-Street.

Two teams who threatened to be title contenders went into the match more concerned about avoiding relegation and Warwickshire, who closed on 25 for one, dispensed with the toss.

Play began on time following morning rain, but it remained overcast until lunchtime and Durham had to battle hard to counter the swinging ball.

They were 59 for two from 29 overs at lunch, Keith Barker’s probing 11-over spell yielding two for nine, then Paul Collingwood faced 107 balls for 23 on a sunny afternoon. But once he became Patel’s first victim the rest swiftly followed.

Adopting his sternest Brigadier Block mode, Collingwood’s only four was a leg glance off Barker from the 67th ball he faced.

Straight after tea he tried to drive Patel and the ball turned to miss leg stump, bringing four byes.

This seemed to unsettle the Durham captain, who then sat back to cut, changed his mind and popped up a bat-pad catch.

Stuart Poynter and Barry McCarthy, both back from Ireland duty, were bowled, Paul Coughlin skied a sweep to deep mid-wicket and Graham Onions edged an attempted reverse paddle.

Poynter’s recall to keep wicket meant Michael Richardson was free to concentrate on regaining his batting form and he responded with his second championship half-century of the season.

He hit seven fours before sweeping Patel for three to reach 50 off 68 balls, only to depart for 55 when Rikki Clarke stuck out his left hand at second slip to give Barker a third wicket.

Clarke also caught Jack Burnham, who had driven him for two glorious fours on either side of the wicket on his way to 30.

With 12 overs to bat, Warwickshire openers Varun Chopra and Ian Westwood survived until the penultimate over, when Chopra looked surprised to be given out caught behind down the leg side off Chris Rushworth for ten.