Durham skittle MCC for 162
Close Durham 7 for 2 (Smith 4*, Blackwell 3*, Kirby 2-3) and 459 for 9 declared (Coetzer 172, Di Venuto 131, Malan 4-20) lead MCC 162 (Malan 41, Borthwick 4-27) by 304 runs with eight wickets remaining
Durham put both the MCC batsmen and the much-hyped pink ball through their paces today, skittling their opponents for 162 to take control after two days of the county curtain-raiser.
After MCC laboured in stifling heat for just three wickets with the lurid ball on day one, 18 fell on day two. Durham were seven for two at the close - 304 ahead - having declined to enforce the follow-on. They declared their first innings on 459 and went on to make light work of an opposition sorely missing Mark Ramprakash, who flew home yesterday morning.
England outcast Steve Harmison took two wickets in a fiery spell with the new ball, while 19-year-old legspinner Scott Borthwick returned four for 27. Durham started on 329 for three but lost Ian Blackwell to Steve Kirby in the first over of the day. Ben Stokes, on his first-class debut, was in at six and mixed a little luck with some muscular hitting to survive a testing early spell. Kyle Coetzer, 123 not out after batting through day one, added just one run in the first 35 minutes before steering Murtagh through gully for four.
Stokes, meanwhile, clubbed Dean Cosker back over his head for six as he shouldered the brunt of the scoring while Coetzer dropped anchor. Durham ticked past 400 in the 119th over and moments later James Middlebrook put down a return catch off the advancing Stokes.He was on 46 at the time and ensured he made a maiden fifty before being caught trying to launch Middlebrook over the top. Coetzer remained in position until the end of the session but his eight-and-a-half hour vigil eventually ended in the softest way imaginable, lbw after missing a full-toss off Dawid Malan's part-time legspin.
His 172 consumed a mammoth 371 deliveries, 281 of which were dots. His dismissal was the first of four wickets in two-and-a-half overs as the Durham innings subsided in short order. Malan, remarkably, took all four wickets, with Borthwick, Mitchell Claydon and Callum Thorp all departing for ducks. Unfortunately for MCC, the flow of wickets was not stemmed by the change of innings and they were three down before the end of the fifth over.
Thorp set the ball rolling, trapping Scott Newman leg before as he left a straight one, before Harmison took over. He quickly found some good pace and a testing line and was soon rewarded with the wicket of David Sales, pinned lbw for four. Next to go was James Taylor, the 2009 Young Cricketer of the Year, who fended a fiery delivery to Phil Mustard behind the stumps to depart for a three-ball duck. Captain Alex Gidman led a brief fightback, but fell for 29 as Mustard took a good catch to hand Stokes a maiden first-class wicket. James Foster and Malan steered the total into three figures before the former departed for 26, the victim of a superb return catch by Thorp.
Thorp took a third wicket when Malan found Borthwick at point to leave his side 103 for six. Borthwick was then handed the ball and proceeded to rout the MCC's tail, accounting for numbers eight to 11 with a 29-ball spell worth four for 27.
The final score of 162 all out represented a lead of 297, but Will Smith opted to bat again. With both openers making first-innings centuries Smith went in with Borthwick at the top of the order, who promptly made a second duck of the day. Kirby was the bowler and he removed Dale Benkenstein lbw with the very next delivery to leave Durham nought for two - a score that improved by just seven before stumps.