31st Match, Chester-le-Street, May 24 - 25, 2024, County Championship Division One
171 & 88

Durham won by an innings and 6 runs


Ben Stokes, David Bedingham star for Durham before Somerset fight back

Four wickets for England captain and unbeaten century for batter give hosts slender edge

Ben Stokes struck twice in his opening spell, Durham vs Somerset, County Championship, Division One, Chester-le-Street, May 24, 2024

Ben Stokes struck twice in his opening spell  •  Getty Images

Durham 177 for 6 (Bedingham 100*, Robinson 46, Ball 3-41) lead Somerset 171 (Pretorius 53, Stokes 4-54, Siddle 3-27) by six runs
A late fightback from Somerset left their Vitality County Championship game with Durham finely poised, despite starring roles from Ben Stokes and David Bedingham.
Stokes took four wickets to restrict Somerset to 171 all out in their first innings while Bedingham led Durham's reply with an unbeaten century on day one at an overcast Seat Unique Riverside.
Having been put in on a grassy pitch, Somerset had their backs to the wall for most of the day, but Migael Pretorius, who was later replaced by Jake Ball due to concussion, got his second 50 of the season and Craig Overton had the hosts in a spot of bother at 19 for three.
Ball took three late wickets including that of Stokes and Ollie Robinson, but Bedingham got his century just before close to leave Durham 177 for 6, six runs ahead with four wickets in tact.
Durham skipper Scott Borthwick elected to bowl at the toss and it was justified in the first over, with Ben Raine claiming the scalp of Tom Abell for four with a ball that clipped the top of off-stump.
After being restricted to run-scoring rations by Raine at the other end, Tom Lammonby then started to find his groove, with three fours from a Paul Coughlin over.
At the other end, Australian international Renshaw was dogged in defence, with just five runs from 39 balls before he was caught behind by Robinson, Stokes' first wicket of the day.
Lammonby was the second victim of Stokes with the left-hander looking to cut one but extra bounce deceived him and he edged behind to the dependable Robinson for 22.
Just five balls later, Siddle then joined the party on home debut as Andy Umeed edged to second slip for nine.
Banton and James Rew came to the crease and combined nicely, but Raine got his second of the innings on the stroke of lunch when Rew was out LBW for 13 after padding up to one which was plumb.
The lunch break didn't bring better fortune for Somerset as in the first over after the break Siddle struck twice in two balls, removing Gregory and Craig Overton before Pretorius successfully defended the hat-trick ball.
Pretorius supported Banton as they combined for a partnership worth 35, but Raine put an end to Banton's defiance, as he chipped a ball straight to mid-wicket to give Raine his third.
Stokes grabbed his third of the day when Josh Davey was LBW for 10, which spurred Pretorius on to attack and reach his half-century.
Despite wickets falling at the other end, Pretorius played well for his 50, but the South African did not last much longer as he edged a Stokes delivery to second slip to wrap up the Somerset innings.
That was Pretorius' last action of the match as he was subbed out with concussion after being struck on the helmet prior to his dismissal, with Jake Ball replacing him for the rest of the game.
Responding to Somerset's total of 171, Durham started in the worst possible way as Alex Lees was run out for three while backing up, after Overton got his hand to a Borthwick straight drive and the ball cannoned onto the stumps when Lees was out of his ground.
Colin Ackermann was then dismissed for one after he edged an Overton delivery to second slip and the Somerset man struck again to leave Durham 19 for three, after Borthwick was out LBW for nine.
The in-form duo of Bedingham and Robinson decided to attack on the bowler-friendly wicket, as they ticked the scoreboard over and went past 100.
The pair elegantly chipped away at Somerset's total, with Bedingham hitting a Jack Leach delivery down the ground for six to reach his half-century from 60 balls.
Unlike his partner, Robinson could not make it to the half-century mark as he fell to Ball for 46, which brought Stokes to the crease.
The England Test captain then departed for a duck after Ball got him LBW and Ball struck again to remove Graham Clark for one.
Just before close Bedingham hit his fourth consecutive County Championship hundred from 103 balls, giving Durham the edge over Somerset going into day two.

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County Championship Division One