sport

Bowlers on top at Durham

Fourteen wickets fell on the opening day of the County Championship Division One clash between Durham and Nottinghamshire at Chester-le-Street.

On a pitch offering some encouragement to the seamers, title-chasing Nottinghamshire had cause for satisfaction in dismissing their struggling hosts for 253 after losing the toss, but they then slumped to 66 for four by stumps as Durham fought back.

John Hastings sparked the revival as he took two wickets in two balls in the second over of Notts' reply.

The Australian had Steven Mullaney caught behind for a duck then pinned James Taylor - named in England's Twenty20 squad earlier on Sunday - lbw with a full-length ball which swung in late.

It became 37 for three as Chris Rushworth gained an lbw verdict when bowling round the wicket to Michael Lumb, but Samit Patel looked in good touch in reaching 26 until he pushed forward to the last ball of the day and edged Paul Coughlin to second slip.

In the rain-ruined draw between these sides at Trent Bridge the home attack included Peter Siddle, Stuart Broad and Andre Adams. All are now absent, along with Harry Gurney, and Nottinghamshire had James Franklin and Gary Keedy making their championship debuts for the county.

Left-arm spinner Keedy, 39, joined last winter as assistant physio and spin bowling coach.

Durham have five bowlers injured if Gavin Main, the Scot whose one appearance was at Trent Bridge, is included. With Ben Stokes also absent on England duty, they handed a debut to Irish seamer Peter Chase, who was registered two weeks ago.

They were also without wicketkeeper Phil Mustard, who had injured a knee in training, so Michael Richardson took the gloves after top-scoring with a tenacious 73.

He never looked totally secure against good bowling from Luke Fletcher and Ajmal Shahzad, but stuck doggedly to the task of holding the innings together.

There was a more fluent half-century from opener Mark Stoneman, who hit 11 fours in reaching 50 off 66 balls, only to inside edge Mullaney's second ball into his stumps 10 minutes before lunch.

Richardson also fell to a new bowler just before tea straight after he and Gordon Muchall had both pulled Shahzad for four to bring up the 200 with five wickets down.

Patel pushed his second ball wide of off stump and Richardson was lured forward, leaving Chris Read with an easy stumping.

In the next over Hastings played back defensively and edged a good ball from Shahzad to Read, leaving Muchall with the tail. He was left unbeaten on 37 when seamer Jake Ball, making only his third championship appearance, bowled Chase.

Ball's other wicket was the prize scalp of Paul Collingwood, who looked in good form as he cracked him for two fours through the covers. But after making 22 he chopped an attempted cut into his stumps.

Notts would have been pleased with their efforts with the ball having lost the toss, but when it came to their turn Durham's bowlers also flourished to leave the hosts looking at the possibility of a first-innings lead.

Richardson said: "It's a good pitch and we hoped to get 300, but the seamers on both sides have bowled really well.

"I only found out this morning I would be keeping wicket. I gave it up because it takes a lot for Phil Mustard to miss a game, but I've always wanted to keep my hand in and I don't see it as a burden.

"Paul Collingwood asked me where I wanted to bat and I said I'd stay at four because I've enjoyed it there. I didn't want to drop down to seven."