Somerset 409 for 7 v Durham

Marcus Trescothick confirmed his position as the leading run-maker in county cricket with a masterly 163 for Somerset on the opening day of the County Championship clash with leaders Durham at Taunton.

It was the former England opener's fifth Championship century this season - one of them a double - and took his tally in the competition to 1,373 at an average of over 80.

But Durham fought hard after the home side had reached 231 for 1, Arul Suppiah and Nick Compton contributing half-centuries. Mitchell Claydon pegged Somerset back with four for 84 and they closed on 409 for 7.

It was a tough day for Steve Harmison, who conceded 65 from 10 wayward overs which included four wides and three no-balls. But Ian Blackwell enjoyed his return to Taunton, claiming the wickets of Trescothick and Craig Kieswetter for a return of 2 for 53.

It looked as though Durham skipper Phil Mustard would rue his decision to field first as Trescothick and Suppiah overcame the new ball with few alarms. They had put on 98 when Suppiah, on 52, was caught in the slips by Michael Di Venuto off a Claydon lifter in the 25th over. The Malaysia-born batsman had out-scored the watchful Trescothick to make his runs off 70 balls with eight fours.

It was 105 for 1 at lunch and Trescothick moved to fifty off 105 balls. Compton then reached the same landmark off 85 deliveries as the pair added 133 in 31 overs before he was bowled for 56, playing across a full delivery from Claydon.

By then Trescothick had blossomed to reach his hundred off 149 balls, with 18 fours. The second fifty occupied just 44 deliveries as he made the most of a short boundary on the town side of the ground.

Chris Jones hit three fours on his home Championship debut before Claydon had him caught behind off a steeply rising ball for 13.

At 261 for 3 Somerset's middle order, which has proved vulnerable this season, was exposed. It failed again as James Hildreth pulled a short ball from Graham Onions to square leg, where Dale Benkenstein took a sharp diving catch, and Kieswetter edged Blackwell to slip to leave Somerset 322 for 5.

Trescothick had moved to 150 off 204 balls and lofted Blackwell for a straight six just before his dismissal, an unlucky one as he was caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Mustard with the total on 336.

Peter Trego hit a rapid 22 to ensure a fourth batting point before being bowled driving at Claydon, who was comfortably the pick of the Durham seam attack. It was the second delivery with the second new ball.

Alfonso Thomas (23 not out) and Murali Kartik (25 not out) then survived some kamikaze running between the wickets to add a valuable 49 and take their team past 400.