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April 27, 2011
Durham 230 for 5 v Warwickshire 429
Warwickshire fought back strongly in the final 80 minutes against Durham at Chester-le-Street, helped by an injury to Michael Di Venuto. As the opener sped to his second 50 in 58 balls he tweaked a leg muscle in taking a single on 95 and had to send for a runner.
He was severely restricted in his movement but soldiered on as wickets began to fall following his opening stand of 164 with Will Smith. Those runs were gathered at four an over, but the impressive Rikki Clarke applied the brake and had Di Venuto caught behind for 113 while conceding only 20 runs in 14 overs.
Durham closed on 230 for 5 in reply to 429, with nightwatchman Graham Onions falling to Boyd Rankin after failing to shift the Irishman in the morning.
Warwickshire had slumped from 328 for 4 to 349 for 9 when two wickets fell in the day's first four overs, bringing in Rankin with a best score of 13 behind him. He contributed 28 to a stand of 80 with Chris Woakes, who remained unbeaten on 70 after successfully farming the strike against increasingly dispirited bowling.
Even Ruel Brathwaite could not unsettle Rankin after bowling Andrew Miller to complete his second five-wicket haul in successive games. Championship debutant Paul Best had pulled Onions' first ball of the day, a long hop, straight to square leg.
But after his encouraging return at Headingley two weeks ago, the paceman struggled for rhythm in finishing with 2 for 106, while Brathwaite had 5 for 75.
With Smith making 66, Durham's opening stand was six more than their best for the first wicket in the championship last season. Smith was initially the dominant partner. Two successive balls from Miller were clipped to the square-leg boundary and he pulled the same bowler for six.
The 50 came up in only the 11th over, but as Smith slowed down Di Venuto twice edged Rankin over the slips for four and began to forge ahead. He reached 50 off 71 balls, compared with 101 for Smith, who finally edged Woakes to Clarke at second slip.
Woakes nipped one back to have Gordon Muchall lbw just after Di Venuto's injury and the runs dried up as Ben Stokes struggled. He made only five in 35 balls before Miller skidded one through to gain another lbw verdict.
Di Venuto departed six overs from the close before Rankin found steep bounce to force Onions to lob a catch to gully, leaving Ian Blackwell to survive the final three overs with Dale Benkenstein.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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