Sunday, 13 May 2018

Emirates Riverside

Durham V Leicestershire
(Day 4 of 4)

7th May 2018

Last season at Northamptonshire I watched an innings where all ten wickets taken were catches, which I am guessing is probably quite a rare occurrence at any level of cricket.  To-day I witnessed something possibly equally singular as Leicestershire, after enforcing opponents Durham to follow-on, contrived to lose this match.

In their first innings, aided by knocks of 70 or more by no less than four players (Michael Carberry, Paul Horton, Mark Cosgove and Neil Dexter) Leics. had posted a whopping total of 440.  The visiting attack then set about the Durham lads with gusto, bowling them all out for 184 by early on Day Three.  Leicestershire, perhaps not surprisingly, asked the home lot to bat again......but then appeared to suffer a Bowling Collapse (if there is such a thing).  For they managed to take just a single wicket – Durham's Aidan Markam falling just six runs of his century – during the rest of the day.

And so it was, when I pitched up to take in Day Four, although Durham's second innings had reached an impressive 233/1, they still trailed their visitors by 23 runs.    

Coming into the ground, I overheard a couple of Durham supporters suggesting the match would either be a “real nail-biter”, or would just “fizzle out”.  By which I assume he meant his side would build up a reasonable target before being bowled out with sufficient time to have a bash at getting rid of all the Leics guys.....or the visiting bowlers would continue to toil and the match would dribble to a draw.  

Well, the first session initially went pretty much the way of the last two on the previous day, with Leics struggling to make a breakthrough.  But once Graham Clark went for 25 with the score on 308/2, the Durham wickets began falling with (from a Leicestershire and my perspective) pleasing regularity.  Although Graham Weighell's tenacity proved a challenge to overcome.  The home side's second innings eventually closed on 403, due in no small way to Gavin Griffiths' bowling mojo returning.  He finished that second Durham innings with figures of 6/49. 

All of which left Leicestershire with the eminently, (I thought) achievable target of 147 to win.

But I don't know if was the conditions favouring the bowlers as the day went on, or a dose of the jitters caused by the fact they were on the verge of a first Championship win since September 2016, but Leics just never looked like getting anywhere near that modest total.  And as wicket followed wicket with metronomic regularity, the pendulum swung inexorably back towards the hosts.  Leics. were eventually scuttled out for 101, with team captain Carberry top scoring with a paltry 22.

And so the Leicestershire wait goes on.

Welcome to Emirates Riverside.

The old scoreboard.

The gladiators emerge.

Panorama of Emirates Riverside, Chester le Street.

Graham Clark  - Durham CCC

Leicestershire's Varun Aaron gets some stretching exercises in, out at the boundary

"There is something wrong with this ball, Umpire.
I just cannot seem to hit the wickets with it."

Leics. players, having topped up the factor 50, prepare for the second session.

Michael Richardson - Durham CCC

This long-shot shows Durham's Stuart Poynter being dismissed lbw.

Leicestershire's Callum Parkinson is a talented chap -
the scoreboard had him bowling from both ends at one point.

This is the tenacious James Weighell hitting a boundary during his second innings 38.

Between innings the groundstaff got busy going whatever it is they do with brush and shovel.

Early in the Leicestershire innings, it may have been second ball, Michael Carberry took a sore one to the arm.

An appeal for lbw against Colin Ackermann - which he survived.

Neil Dexter sneaks this one past the Durham fielders.

Durham's James Weighell has just taken his ninth wicket of the match, Durham win by 46 runs. 

Panorama of Emirates Riverside - Durham CCC

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