Durham v MCC, Abu Dhabi, 1st day March 24, 2014

Harrison five ensures honours even

ESPNcricinfo staff

Durham 39 for 1 and 248 lead MCC 282 (Reece 85, Bell-Drummond 54, Harrison 5-60) by five runs

Jamie Harrison gave himself a pre-season confidence boost by claiming 5 for 60 in Abu Dubai to help limit MCC's lead to 44 in the Champion County match.

MCC fell away from 169 for 1 following a second-wicket stand of 112 between Lancashire's Luis Reece and Kent's Daniel Bell-Drummond. Scott Borthwick, the legspinner, also produced a handy performance by claiming 3 for 95 from 27 overs which included the scalps of former India batsman Virender Sehwag, who was caught at mid-on, and Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene.

MCC's reply to Durham's 248 had begun solidly as Reece and Sam Robson, the latter pushing for an England call-up this season, put on 57. Reece struck 12 boundaries in his stay before becoming Borthwick's second wicket.

Harrison, a 23-year-old left-armer, then began to make his inroads when he removed Samit Patel, turning around his figures which stood at 7-0-39-0. He later found himself on a hat-trick after claiming Ollie Rayner and Andre Adams as he sped through MCC's tail with the second new ball.

This is just the eighth match of Harrison's first-class career, which has been stalled in its early stages by a stress fracture in 2012, but this performance - and the way he finished last season - suggests he is ready to play a more central role in Durham's Championship; he ended the 2013 campaign with 14 wickets in four matches as Durham surged to the title.

There was time for Durham to start their second innings and Keaton Jennings fell for a duck - becoming Kyle Hogg's fifth wicket of the match - before Mark Stoneman and Borthwick took the county back into a slender lead

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  • Dummy4 on March 26, 2014, 9:42 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer, Low key cricket! I would be very surprised about that, the game is being played by quite a few youngsters who are not currently first choice with Durham as well as a few fringe England players who need to show what they can do. This game is ideal to highlight their talents and I would be very surprised if it was played at anything but a high tempo, how do you know it's low key? are you there.

  • Mark on March 25, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    It has been pretty slow going most of the time. Yesterday though there was another clatter of wickets after Tea and the commentator was complaining that he was having great difficulty sighting the ball, albeit he was 158m away , but it does make one wonder about how successful a pink ball would be in day/night Tests.

    I suspect that Sam Robson is kicking himself for not cashing in on his start. Nice to see Monty's 5-for and interesting to see Scott Borthwick take some wickets too. There was a nice little cameo when Ollie Rayner was facing Borthwick, when both are potential spin candidates for the Tests v India and Rayner took three fours in an over from him: perhaps sending his rival a message?

    All in all though, the cricket is very low key.

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