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May 19, 2011
Worcestershire 105 for 5 v Durham 587 for 7 dec
Steve Harmison took his first County Championship wickets for nine months as Durham set Worcestershire a mammoth task at New Road.
Re-emerging after an early-season injury, the 32-year-old former England fast bowler put the Division One strugglers in trouble with a return of 3 for 29 in 11 overs. With 19-year-old substitute Ben Raine holding two catches, Worcestershire ended the second day on 105 for 5 - still 333 short of the 438 required to avoid the follow-on.
Harmison, out for a month with a broken arm, warmed up with 5 for 22 in a second-team match against Warwickshire. And he quickly had Worcestershire on the ropes on his return to the county side, dismissing both openers in the space of eight balls.
Raine picked up a low chance when Matt Pardoe (11) clipped Harmison off his legs and James Cameron (18) was unfortunate to get a ball which nipped off a length and looped off the bat for a simple catch to Callum Thorp. Ruel Brathwaite then found some movement to bowl Vikram Solanki for 10 and Raine reacted brilliantly to pull down another chance when Alexei Kervezee (one) cut Ben Stokes to cover.
Moeen Ali and Adrian Shankar, the latter unbeaten with 10 from 60 balls, put up some resistance but Moeen was caught down the leg side by Phil Mustard for 46 as soon as Harmison rejoined the attack.
Captain Mustard earlier became Durham's third century-maker before declaring on 587 for 7 following earlier hundreds from Gordon Muchall (175) and Ian Blackwell (134). Muchall and Blackwell's partnership of 247 - a fifth-wicket record for the county - ended early on the second morning but Mustard's 101 from 139 balls meant Worcestershire needed to reach their highest score in almost a year just to make Durham bat again.
Although the northerners established a near-impregnable position with a mountain of runs, there was always a suspicion that the pitch held something for the better bowlers. The problem for Worcestershire was their reliance on the new-ball pair, Damien Wright and Alan Richardson. While they bowled 69 overs for 206 runs, the supporting seamers were considerably more expensive.
Wright flattened Blackwell's off-stump in the second over of the day but Muchall extended his innings by almost an hour, adding 23 runs before he was caught at slip when Richard Jones replaced Richardson. However, Mustard was well set by then and with Scott Borthwick he shared in a partnership of 154 for the seventh wicket.
Mustard eventually fell to Moeen's off-spin, giving Solanki his fourth slip catch of the innings, but Borthwick stayed unbeaten with 67 - one short of his career best - and Thorp (22 not out) hit two sixes prior to the declaration.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the day from the fifth ODI in Ranchi
Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough