Muchall ton helps Durham recover
Hampshire 421 for 5 dec and 41 for 2 v Durham 320 for 7 dec
Gordon Muchall engineered a spirited Durham recovery with his first century of the season in an entertaining match against Hampshire at Basingstoke.
Muchall hit an undefeated 140, and Ben Stokes contributed an emphatic 99, as Durham recovered from 40 for 4 to declare on 320 for 7 when play resumed in damp conditions on the third day.
Hampshire then moved on to 41 for 2 in their second innings by stumps, a lead of 142. With much of the second day washed out by rain, Hampshire declared their first innings on their overnight total of 421 for 5 and Durham were soon in trouble.
The wicket at the May's Bounty ground had been affected by the moisture and the swinging conditions aided Hampshire pace bowler's Dominic Cork and James Tomlinson. Michael Di Venuto was out to the fourth ball of the innings and his opening partner Mark Stoneman was leg before to Tomlinson for 30.
Durham's position worsened when Dale Benkenstein was caught behind in David Balcombe's first over and Tomlinson struck again when he had Ian Blackwell leg before in the 18th over. But then Muchall, whose last century was in the early part of last season, was joined by Stokes in a crucial stand of 176 in 40 overs for the fifth wicket.
Teenage prospect Stokes was in superb form striking 13 fours in his 99 and was denied a century only by a tumbling catch at leg-on by Sean Ervine. Durham captain Phil Mustard was picked up at second slip by Neil McKenzie off Balcombe to put his side in trouble again at 218 for 6 and still needing another 59 to avoid the follow on.
But Muchall found another willing ally in Scott Borthwick and another 102 were added in 22 overs for the seventh wicket as Durham completed their rehabilitation. Borthwick smashed 10 boundaries in a 74-ball 54 before going for another big hit and giving Michael Lumb a catch on the midwicket boundary and providing Cork with his second wicket of the innings.
With Borthwick's demise, Mustard declared leaving Muchall to get a standing ovation for his undefeated innings which came off 240 balls and included 16 fours and a six. Durham's enterprising declaration 101 behind gave Hampshire 11 overs to add to their lead which they did by 42 for the loss of Jimmy Adams and Tomlinson.
Spinner Blackwell dismissed them both, bowling Adams when the score was 19 and then from the penultimate ball of the day having Tomlinson caught by Liam Plunkett for two.
Michael Carberry, who hit 162 in the first innings, was 22 not out at the close and with eight wickets left Hampshire led by 142.