Nottinghamshire v Durham, Trent Bridge, 3rd day May 27, 2014

Muchall, Stokes knocks provide cheer

Press Association

Durham 335 for 5 (Muchall 158*, Stokes 61) trail Nottinghamshire 377 by 42 runs

Gordon Muchall posted a century for Durham on another weather-affected day of their Championship Division One match at Nottingham, while England allrounder Ben Stokes' scored 61 on his return to first-team action.

Day three saw Muchall enjoy a productive time as he moved from an overnight 24 to 158 not out, his first hundred in three years, coming off 189 balls and featuring 22 fours and a six. But for a second successive day, play was limited by the conditions and the contest looks set for a draw, with Durham currently on 335 for 4 in their first innings, 42 runs behind their opponents.

Rain meant play did not start until 1.30pm and it came to an end early due to bad light. In the 58 overs that were completed, Stokes was another to enjoy some time in the middle on his return from a wrist injury as he notched a half-century.

Meanwhile, Stokes' international colleague Stuart Broad, who is playing in his first match in nearly two months as he continues to manage patella tendonitis in his right knee, got further bowling time under his belt for Nottinghamshire. He is still yet to take any wickets in this encounter, though, finishing the day with 0 for 68 from 16 overs.

Durham, resuming on 78 for 2, lost their first wicket on 131 when Keaton Jennings was caught low down behind by Chris Read off Andre Adams. Stokes stepped in and his partnership with Muchall bore plenty of fruit as they put on a 133-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Stokes then departed on 61 as he was well caught on the boundary by Michael Lumb off Samit Patel. At the close of play, Muchall's partner at the crease, Paul Collingwood, was on 36 not out, with Durham eyeing another couple of batting points, weather permitting, on Wednesday.