Openers extend lead after seamers dominate
Durham 288 and 78 for 0 v Warwickshire 224
A last-wicket stand of 55 between Rikki Clarke and Boyd Rankin gave Warwickshire their first batting bonus point for five games, but they ended the second day well adrift at Chester-le-Street. They also had coach Ashley Giles on the field after Jim Troughton and Andrew Miller were forced off while the Durham openers, Michael Di Venuto and Mark Stoneman, both survived slip chances to reach 78 without loss in the second innings.
That gave them a lead of 142 after dismissing Warwickshire for 224, with Clarke the last man out for a classy 68, leaving Rankin unbeaten on 10. With the ball swinging and some help in the pitch for Durham's quartet of seamers, Clarke was the only batsman to look settled, although he was dropped on 40 by Callum Thorp at gully.
That was one of four sharp chances Durham put down as well as fumbling a run-out opportunity, although the day's worst miss was by the Bears' Darren Maddy at first slip off Neil Carter with Di Venuto on eight. A misfield by Ian Blackwell gave Clarke the two runs which took him to 50 and prompted extra jubilation from his team-mates as it also brought up the 200, earning the batting point.
Clarke finally sliced a drive to point to leave Chris Rushworth with career-best figures of 3 for 46 as he and Thorp shared the last seven wickets. Both swung the ball in the morning but remained wicketless as Steve Harmison's hostility accounted for the openers, although Maddy clearly did not agree with his caught-behind decision.
With Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell helping England Lions to victory against West Indies A, and Varun Chopra injured, Warwickshire had 18-year-old Ateeq Javid at No. 5. He slapped a long-hop from Thorp to point before Tim Ambrose and Troughton put on 48 for the fifth wicket.
Troughton led a charmed life before he departed for 44 when Rushworth had him caught behind, while the recalled Ambrose scored most of his 31 runs behind square on the off side before Rushworth brought one back to pin him lbw.
Thorp took the next three as Carter drove to mid-on, Miller lobbed a catch to second slip and Imran Tahir twice edged fours to third man before Claydon was posted there and promptly held a high slice.
The pitch appeared to be easing in the evening sunshine and after their early escapes the Durham openers prospered, mixing crisp strokes with alert running. Stoneman finished unbeaten on 42 with Di Venuto on 31.