Nottinghamshire forced to battle
Nottinghamshire 257 for 6 v Durham 372
Title-chasing Nottinghamshire were facing the prospect of conceding a first-innings deficit in their clash with reigning County Championship Division One winners Durham following a closely-fought second day.
Nottinghamshire started the day well as they removed the hosts' final four wickets for the addition of 10 runs to bowl Durham out for 372. In reply half-centuries from by skipper Chris Read and Ali Brown, plus 48 from Australian Adam Voges, helped Nottinghamshire to 257 for 6 by the close.
That meant they took three points from the day's play - one for bowling and two for batting - as they continue to edge cautiously towards the title. Nottinghamshire now boast a lead of 21 points over second-placed Somerset, but will still be hoping to avoid defeat at Chester-le-Street with two tough matches to finish the campaign against Yorkshire and Lancashire.
With that in mind the visitors will be hoping their tail can add some valuable runs on day three with their deficit still 115 runs with four wickets in hand. Durham's hopes of running through the tail could rest on whether Mark Davies will return to the attack after he failed to bowl in the evening session.
In his fifth championship appearance either side of a three-month break following a second ankle operation, Davies took the remarkable figures of 2 for 10 from 15 overs. Earlier, Durham lost their remaining four wickets for 10 runs, with Scott Borthwick last out for a career-best 68 when he pulled a catch to deep mid-wicket to give Andre Adams his fifth wicket.
Borthwick clipped the first ball of the day, from Ryan Sidebottom, behind square leg for four to earn Durham's fourth batting point. For the maximum of five they still had 13 overs to score the extra 50 runs, but Phil Mustard looked in too much of a hurry when he drove at Sidebottom and edged to Read after adding three singles to his overnight 117.
Liam Plunkett edged the next ball to the wicketkeeper and Read held his third catch in two overs when Mitch Claydon edged a drive at Adams.
Nottinghamshire's struggles to find a settled opening pair saw them promote Samit Patel, but after turning Claydon to fine leg for four he shaped to play through midwicket and got a leading edge to mid-off in the first over.
In the continued absence of Steve Harmison, Davies shared the new ball and struck in his sixth over. He had already beaten the bat several times when Alex Hales pushed forward and edged to wicketkeeper Mustard. Hales and Mark Wagh put on 48 in 21 overs before Plunkett settled down after a wayward start and skidded one through to bowl Wagh for 30.
At 71 for 3 Nottinghamshire were looking slightly rocky, but Brown and Voges put on 75 before Davies pinned the Australian lbw. Brown fell for 52 when he drove leg-spinner Borthwick to mid-off and two overs from the close Read departed for 56 when he tried to pull Plunkett and gloved a leg-side catch to Mustard.
Sidebottom went in as nightwatchman and will be replaced at the crease by Darren Pattinson as the left-armer had to depart to join up with the England Twenty20 squad.