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John Ward at Chester-le-Street
May 16, 2008
Durham 406 and 205 for 6 dec (Benkenstein 86*) beat Yorkshire 194 and 122 by 295 runs
Durham completed a massive 295-run victory over Yorkshire with a day to spare. With conditions helpful to the bowlers throughout, victory was always likely once they had built a large lead , but another excellent spell by Graham Onions ensured the players - and spectators - could take Saturday off.
Yorkshire began well enough, winning the pre-lunch session as they fought back with determination. They were strengthened by the arrival of Matthew Hoggard, omitted from Lord's, who replaced Ben Sanderson, who might have been given a little more chance to display his talent.
Yorkshire claimed an early wicket, with Tim Bresnan trapping the makeshift opener Ben Harmison lbw for 6. He and Hoggard used the conditions very well, beating the bat frequently, with Bresnan again showing persistence and accuracy. The seamers worked their way through the Durham batting, with Neil McKenzie again failing; he played a poor stroke to be caught at third slip off Hoggard.
Six wickets were down for 112, before Michael Di Venuto, the hero of the first innings but with an injured finger, was lured to the middle. Dale Benkenstein, the one early batsman to look comfortable, was still there, and finally Durham had found a pair to stick together. With increasing fluency they added 93, at which point Benkenstein declared to give his bowlers an hour to bowl before tea at the expense of having a chance to reach his own century.
Yorkshire needed 418 to win, but the pre-tea spell settled the outcome. Steve Harmison was less wayward than in the first innings, but again Onions was the destroyer supreme. He found a wicked length and looked every bit as dangerous as he had the first time round.
In his first over he brought a ball back sharply to trap Adam Lyth lbw, stuck on the crease; in the same over he came very close to winning a similar appeal against Anthony McGrath, and two overs later repeated it successfully; then he had Jacques Rudolph beaten and edging to the keeper. None of these three scored, and Yorkshire were shattered at 10 for 3.
Andrew Gale tried to counter-attack, with some success, scoring 19, but then flashed unwisely to be caught by the keeper off Harmison on the stroke of tea . Joe Sayers, who had managed to avoid Onions much of the time, hung in with determination to see off the front-line bowlers; then, perhaps relaxing when Ben Harmison replaced his brother, edged an innocuous-looking ball to be well caught by Kyle Coetzer at third slip. The wicket just followed the posting of the 50, which came up in the 25th over.
Adil Rashid and Gerard Brophy both threw away their wickets to innocuous deliveries, but Bresnan again showed his fighting spirit, while Darren Gough hit lustily for 18 before pulling a ball from Mark Davies on to his stumps. The extra half-hour was taken, and Harmison wrapped things by yorking Deon Kruis, uprooting his off stump. Bresnan, putting his team-mates to shame by performing well in all four innings of the match, walked off undefeated with 32.
Onions' figures of 3 for 23 quite fail to reflect his destructive bowling; on this form, he is a bowler of true Test-match quality. Harmison's 3 for 39 will have encouraged him. Yorkshire's first Championship defeat of the season was a humiliating one.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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