Tahir dominates before Mustard counterpunch
Warwickshire 18 for 1 trail Durham 379 by 361 runs
Phil Mustard opened a new chapter in his career at Edgbaston, making his first century in the County Championship since taking over as Durham's captain. He was last man out for 100 - his second 50 coming from only 38 balls - after countering a return of 8 for 114 by Warwickshire's Imran Tahir.
The Pakistan-born wrist spinner twice took two wickets from three balls in registering the best figures by a slow bowler against Durham since they joined the Championship in 1992. But Tahir's outstanding performance, the best for Warwickshire since 2002, was not enough to dampen Durham's resurgence after their recent problems.
The reigning champions took their total to 379 before Mustard became Tahir's final victim, holing out on the leg side immediately after reaching his third first-class hundred with his second six.
Facing 140 balls in all, he also hit nine fours in leading his side into a strong position which was underpinned when Darren Maddy departed in Mitchell Claydon's first over as Warwickshire replied with 18 for 1.
Quickly rebounding from a heavy defeat by Kent last week, Durham began the second day strongly as Mark Stoneman and Gordon Muchall extended their second-wicket stand to 153 in 45 overs. Stoneman (77) compiled his first Championship half-century since scoring 64 in the corresponding fixture at Edgbaston last June and Muchall (60) went beyond 50 for the first time since his unbeaten 106 against Sussex at Hove in May last year.
Things only changed with the introduction of Tahir. Relishing an opportunity to bowl on a dry pitch, he made a breakthrough with three wickets in 15 balls without conceding a run.
After dismissing Muchall, lbw playing from the crease, he continued to use the googly to good effect. Richard Johnson, called up in place of the omitted Tim Ambrose, stumped Stoneman when the opener lost his balance, and Maddy held a slip chance from Ian Blackwell.
Ben Stokes sparked off another clutch of wickets for Tahir after lunch with a slog to Jim Troughton at wide mid on. Dale Benkenstein was next to go, lbw for 26 and Scott Borthwick thrashed a long hop to midwicket.
Tahir ended his two spells, one from each end, with 6 for 73 but a change of tack failed to pay off for Warwickshire. With Mustard restricting himself to four boundaries in his first 50, Durham were able to rebuild after the home side had taken the new ball.
Liam Plunkett was a positive partner in an eighth-wicket stand of 95 from 28 overs. The former England seamer made 41 from 85 balls before he was bowled, playing defensively, on Tahir's return to the attack.