ECB Reporters Network
Leicestershire 236 (Carse 6-63) and 153 for 3 (Azad 57) trail Durham 544 for 9 dec by 155 runs
Brydon Carse produced career-best figures to put Durham in control of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash against Leicestershire, although the visitors mustered a resilient response after being forced to follow-on at Emirates Riverside.
Carse continued his surge from day two when he accounted for three of the four Leicestershire wickets to fall. The 24-year-old added another three scalps to bowl the visitors out for 236, ending with 6 for 63, while Chris Rushworth also struck twice.
Leicestershire were asked to follow-on still trailing the hosts by 308. However, they were dogged in the afternoon and evening sessions as Hassan Azad notched his second half-century of the game. Carse added another strike, while Cameron Steel claimed a late wicket to keep Durham on course for victory, requiring another seven wickets on the final day, still leading by 155 runs.
The visitors resumed on day three on 152 for 4 in their first innings with the hope of grinding down Durham's advantage. Carse had an early go at Colin Ackermann and Chris Wright after his impressive burst the previous evening. The two batsmen managed to see off the threat, but Ben Raine's introduction provided the first breakthrough of the morning as Ackermann edged to Peter Handscomb at second slip.
Wright scored 27 valuable runs, but Carse returned to remove the nightwatchman, who was adjudged to have feathered a catch through to Ned Eckersley. The visitors needed a partnership to prevent Durham taking complete control of the contest. Harry Dearden and Harry Swindells held firm until the lunch break.
The batsmen's patience was rewarded in the afternoon as they reached their fifty partnership, adding important runs for the seventh wicket. However, the arrival of the new ball proved to be their downfall as the two players were out in successive deliveries. Swindells fell first lbw to Rushworth before Carse claimed his fifth strike of the innings by dismissing Dearden.
Carse's impressive spell continued as he notched his sixth wicket to take him to his career-best figures when Will Davis chipped the ball straight to Nathan Rimmington at mid-off. The Leicestershire innings ended with a whimper with Gavin Griffiths losing his off stump after leaving a straight delivery from Rushworth.
Durham enforced the follow-on for the first time since August 2017 and almost made inroads when Paul Horton edged a Carse delivery to slip, but Handscomb failed to cling on with his diving effort.
Carse's pace caused problems for Azad, striking the left-hander on the helmet. Both players survived the new ball and like the first innings were able to build a solid partnership, reaching a fifty stand in the 21st over to slowly reduce the deficit.
Durham were searching for a breakthrough and got one as Horton edged a Raine delivery through to Eckersley down the leg side. Azad scored his second fifty of the game, displaying patience to reach the milestone from 125 balls.
However, Carse's pace was too much for him once again, guiding a riser behind to Eckersley. Neil Dexter and Mark Cosgrove looked to see out the rest of the day, but Steel pinned Dexter lbw in the final over to leave the visitors with a huge challenge ahead to avoid defeat on the final day.
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Durham tighten grip after Brydon Carse delivers career-best
Hassan Azad scores second fifty of match but Durham seven wickets away from innings win
Brydon Carse keeps Durham on top after mammoth first innings
Fifties for Paul Horton and Hassan Azad but Leicestershire stumble after Carse's three wickets