Durham's middle order steady the ship

Durham 278 for 6 (Richardson 91, Muchall 85, Bird 3-80) v Hampshire

Jackson Bird stunted a Durham afternoon comeback with two wickets in two balls as Hampshire edged the first day of their LV= County Championship Division One clash at the Ageas Bowl.

Australian fast bowler Bird produced a thunderous spell with the second new ball to first end a frustrating 142-run fifth wicket stand between Michael Richardson and Gordon Muchall before getting Ryan Pringle out for a duck with his next delivery.

Richardson departed nine runs short of what would have been a fifth career first-class century and Muchall ended on an unbeaten 85 as Durham reached 278 for 6 at the close.

After losing the toss under blue skies and a green-tinged wicket, Division One's bottom side Hampshire struck in the first over of the match as Mark Stoneman was trapped on the pads by the pacy Bird.

He nearly had Scott Borthwick with the next delivery but Liam Dawson - who was recalled from his successful loan from Essex last week - shelled it at second slip.

James Tomlinson was not included in the last two County Championship games at Middlesex and Worcestershire after only taking 16 wickets in his first seven matches of the season.

But he came back with a bang as he picked up two scalps before lunch, trapping debutant Graham Clark in front before Paul Collingwood chipped to Jimmy Adams at mid-off.

Dawson dropped Borthwick for a second time on 15, but had the last laugh when he had him lbw to the last ball of the morning session attempting to play an ugly sweep - departing for one short of a third fifty in four innings.

Richardson and Muchall came out after the lunch break with survival on their mind and steered Durham back on track with a hard grafted 142-run stand.

Richardson in particular impressed with his slow paced 122 ball fifty - his fourth of the season - before his batting partner reached the same milestone in an equally sluggish 136 balls.

Hampshire's attack bowled with more control than in previous four-day matches this season, but could not make a breakthrough in the afternoon.

Neither batsman offered a sniff of a chance until Bird made the double breakthrough with the second new ball.

Bird fashioned an in-ducker to Richardson, who did not offer a shot as he was struck in front, before Pringle edged to James Vince at first slip next ball - giving Bird his 150th first class wicket - and the Australian finished with figures of 3 for 80.

Usman Arshad blocked out the hat-trick delivery, but was lucky in the next over after Gareth Berg spilled his edge to third slip and he composed himself to reach 19 not out at stumps.

Hampshire 4th innings Partnerships

1st0JHK AdamsMA Carberry
2nd32JHK AdamsLA Dawson
3rd1JHK AdamsJM Vince
4th2JHK AdamsWR Smith
5th4WR SmithJS Gatting
6th43JS GattingLD McManus
7th53GK BergLD McManus
8th18JM BirdLD McManus
9th14JA TomlinsonLD McManus
10th12LD McManusMS Crane