Claydon shines for Durham
Durham 150 for 2 v Somerset 480
Mitchell Claydon finished with a career-best 6 for 104 as Durham finally bowled out Somerset for 480 on a rain-interrupted second day of their Championship match at Taunton. The 28-year-old Australian had never taken more than four wickets in an innings before, but he and his team-mates were made to work hard by Alfonso Thomas (42) and Murali Kartik (43) after the home side had begun the day on 409 for 7.
The pair extended their eighth-wicket stand to 83 to put Somerset in a strong position, which improved when Steve Kirby struck twice to reduce Durham to 92 for 2 in reply. But Will Smith and Paul Collingwood stood firm as the Division One leaders reached 150 by stumps on a day when 40 overs were lost to the weather.
Play began on time with Thomas and Kartik building confidently on a partnership which had reached 49 overnight. It was broken with the score on 443 when Thomas was superbly caught at point by Smith above his head to give Claydon his fifth wicket. Kartik also fell short of a deserved half-century when he top-edged an attempted pull shot off Claydon and was caught at fine leg by Graham Onions.
Kirby added an enterprising 19 with three fours to further frustrate the Durham attack before being taken in the slips by Michael Di Venuto off Onions. It was already raining and the players took lunch. The visitors were unable to begin their reply until 3.45pm with 43 overs to be bowled in the remainder of the day.
De Venuto and Smith gave them a solid start with an unbroken stand of 68 before tea. It was extended to 84 before De Venuto, on 46, carelessly pulled a short ball from Kirby straight to Arul Suppiah at deep square, who took a good catch narrowly avoiding stepping back onto the boundary boards.
It was just reward for Kirby, who had bowled without any luck either side of tea. Gordon Muchall soon had him thinking again by cover driving his first ball for a sweet boundary. Kirby had his revenge, however, when Muchall, on 8, edged a defensive shot and was taken at third slip by Kartik.
There was not a great deal of support for Kirby as Smith reached his 50 off 123 balls, with eight fours. Kartik turned the odd delivery sharply from the River End, but none of the edges went to hand.