County Championship Division Two - 2nd day May 21, 2005

Durham reclaim the ascendancy

Cricinfo staff

Yorkshire 254 and 9 for 1 trail Durham 316 (Mustard 78, Bresnan 4-69) by 53 runs
Durham demonstrated the steely aspect of their game as they recovered from an awkward situation to move one step closer to their fifth victory of the season. After watching Yorkshire's tenth-wicket pair add 75 on the first evening of the match, Durham had in turn been reduced to 146 for 6 with Tim Bresnan and Chris Silverwood on target with two wickets apiece. But if Yorkshire thought that they had done the hard work, they only had to hark back to their own innings, as Gareth Breese and Phil Mustard took the wind out of their sails with a seventh-wicket stand of 126. Both men brought up their second half-centuries of the summer, and when Mustard eventually fell for a season's best 78, Liam Plunkett clubbed a quick 16 to extend the lead past the fifty-mark. Plunkett then capped Durham's day by removing Phil Jaques in his second over, as Yorkshire closed on 9 for 1. Even without Steve Harmison, Durham are still proving themselves to be a cut above the second division opposition.

Worcestershire 383 (Smith 100) lead Essex 220 and 17 for 0 by 144 runs
Ben Smith scored his first century of the summer and in doing so more than doubled his first-class run-tally from 93 to 193, as Worcestershire took control of their clash with Essex at Chelmsford. Resuming on 17 for 0 overnight, Worcestershire were made to work hard for the ascendancy, as the Essex bowlers nipped out key wickets at regular intervals, with Dale Steyn extracting the dangerous Graeme Hick for 19. Smith added 76 for the fourth wicket with Vikram Solanki, but James Middlebrook struck twice in consecutive deliveries to bring Essex back into contention at 170 for 5. The England pair of Gareth Batty and Kabir Ali demonstrated Worcestershire's strength in depth, however, as both men recorded their first first-class fifties of the summer to secure a healthy 163-run advantage. By the close, Essex were 17 for 0 in their second innings, but have it all to do if they are to avoid their first defeat of the season.

Somerset 127 for 2 (Burns 55*, Jayasuriya 42*) v Lancashire
Yet more bad weather struck Taunton, as Somerset crawled from 79 for 2 to 127 for 2 in the 15.3 overs available in the day. Michael Burns reached his first fifty of the season and Sanath Jayasuriya moved along to a season's best 42 not out.