Durham v Hampshire, Chester-le-Street, 1st day August 10, 2011

Weather disrupts Durham again

Hampshire 77 for 3 v Durham

The weather continues to disrupt Durham's bid for a third County Championship title in four years.

They lost more than a day to rain in last week's home draw against Nottinghamshire and only 30 overs were bowled on the first day of their match against Division One's bottom club, Hampshire, at Chester-le-Street.

Put in, the visitors reached 77 for 3 but the forecast remains poor for the whole four days. Play began at 3.45pm and Callum Thorp quickly reduced Hampshire to nine for two. But he was rested with figures of 5-3-5-2 and the change bowlers failed to trouble acting captain Jimmy Adams and Neil McKenzie before bad light halted play at 5.18pm.

The first attempt to resume at 6pm was aborted because of more rain, but they returned eight minutes later and after square driving Mitch Claydon's first ball for four Adams chopped the third into his stumps to depart for 23.

With Steve Harmison still recovering from an ankle injury suffered in a pre-match kickabout, Liam Plunkett out of favour and Scott Borthwick on England Lions duty, Durham brought in Sunderland seamer Chris Rushworth for his first championship appearance of the season.

But McKenzie twice hit him to the square leg boundary in his second over and picked up a third four from a leg glance off Rushworth. The South African continued to score the bulk of his runs through the leg side, glancing and pulling Graham Onions for two fours in an over on his way to 46 not out.

Liam Dawson fell to the fourth ball of the match, when he shaped to drive Thorp and edged low to Michael Di Venuto at second slip. Following his triple century against Yorkshire last week, Michael Carberry made only four before changing his mind about leaving a ball from Thorp, which he edged to Phil Mustard.

Adams took over the Hampshire captaincy with Dominic Cork ruled out by a calf strain, which also allowed Kabir Ali to return following a 10-wicket match haul in a recent second team game.

Six points clear of second-placed Lancashire with four games left, Durham are the only team among the four title contenders in action this week.