Durham 176 for 3 (Bedingham 96, Lees 62*) v Leicestershire

A third-wicket partnership of 159 left Durham in a strong position when rain caused an early close of play on the first day of their Bob Willis Trophy match against Leicestershire at the Fischer County Ground.

It was an impressive recovery from the visitors, who after being put in to bat under grey skies, might have feared the worst after being reduced to 17 for 2.

Opener Sean Dickson poked tentatively at a Dieter Klein delivery pushed across him by the left-arm seamer to edge a simple catch to wicket-keeper Harry Swindells, and Cameron Steel, having scored just one, edged an out-swinger from Gavin Griffiths to Hassan Azad at first slip.

Alex Lees and David Bedingham had other ideas, however, taking advantage of the lack of seam movement and a fast outfield to score quickly.

Lees looked in good touch, particularly when driving straight, but Bedingham needed two moments of good fortune, firstly when he was dropped on 24, a straightforward edge off Tom Taylor put down by Swindells, and then on 37, when he advanced down the pitch to left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson and was beaten by the turn, only for Swindells to fail to gather the ball.

Bedingham was the first to his half-century, made off just 70 balls and reached by lofting Colin Ackermann for a huge six over midwicket, with Lees following in a more circumspect manner soon afterwards, off 103 balls.

The occasional ball was turning for the spinners, but slowly, and with runs continuing to flow, Ackermann turned back to his seamers to try and regain control of the scoreboard.

Bedingham continued to prosper, but on 96 and looking for the boundary required to bring up his century, edged a drive at a Taylor out-swinger and Ackermann took a neat catch low to his left at second slip.

Shortly afterwards a shower saw the umpires take the players off for an early tea, with 38 overs remaining and Lees undefeated on 62. A restart was planned for 4.45pm, but the rain became heavier and play was abandoned for the day shortly before 5.30pm.