Day 1

Worcestershire claimed maximum bowling points after bowling out Durham for 197 on the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship match at the Emirates.

Joe Leach and John Hastings reduced Durham to 18-5 at one stage after five wickets went down in the space of 22 balls. Then Brett D’Oliveira hit a superb unbeaten 91 off 132 balls with one six and 14 fours as Worcestershire moved into the lead and closed on 213-4 from 43 overs. The opener shared in stands of  77 with Joe Clarke and an unbroken 74 with Moeen Ali to put Worcestershire into the ascendancy on a day which play finished at 9.50pm.

County skipper Leach opted to bowl first in a game which got underway at 2pm under lights and with a pink duke ball. It was a move that paid immediate dividends. Former Durham all-rounder Hastings was first to strike as Cameron Steel (5) was caught by Daryl Mitchell at second slip with 12 on the board. Leach broke through in the next over as Keaton Jennings (6) lost his leg stump – his 41st wicket of the campaign. Hastings accounted for Jack Burnham (3) who wafted at a ball that moved away and was caught by keeper Ben Cox. Leach dismissed Graham Clark lbw (1) as he attempted to work the ball on the leg side. Then Hastings collected the prized wicket of Ben Stokes (0) who was undone by a ball that left him and presented Cox with his second catch.

Paul Collingwood and Ryan Pringle were left to try and repair the situation for the home side and they added 46 before the former on 11 was lbw to Ed Barnard. Josh Tongue then got rid of Collingwood (25) as Moeen Ali held onto the chance in the gulley region at 64-7.

Durham then staged a revival with the last three wickets adding 133. Stuart Poynter (43) and Mark Wood (21) featured in a stand of 54 before Wood perished to Ross Whiteley at deep point off Tongue. Tongue enjoyed another success when he bowled Poynter but further resistance came from Barry McCarthy (29 not out) and Chris Rushworth (30) in a last wicket partnership of 50.

The innings eventually ended when Rushworth attempted to pull Tongue and holed out to D’Oliveira. Tongue finished with 4-41 from 12.2 overs, Leach 2-45 from 11 overs and Hastings 3-44 from 17 overs.

Wickets also initially tumbled when Worcestershire launched their reply. Daryl Mitchell (3) pushed forward and was caught behind off Wood with six on the board. Worcestershire rejigged their batting order in the tricky conditions with Hastings and Leach promoted to three and  four respectively – a move they also empoyed in the home game with Northamptonshire. Hastings made a quickfire 12 before trying to pull Wood and feathering through to Poynter. Then Leach (16) went for a big hit against Rushworth and was held by Clark at deep mid on with the total 59-3.

But D’Oliveira and Joe Clarke played well in adding 77 in just 16.3 overs for the fourth wicket. D’Oliveira went to an excellent half century off 72 balls with nine fours out of 136-3 but there was no addition to the score when Clarke, after making an impressive 45, lost his off stump to Wood.

Moeen came to the wicket and built another fine partnership with D’Oliveira who pulled McCarthy over mid wicket for six. He then steered Worcestershire into the lead with a pull for four off Pringle and secured a first batting bonus point. By the close Moeen was unbeaten on 33 from 40 balls.

Day 2

Brett D’Oliveira completed his second century of the season as Worcestershire secured four batting points and a healthy first innings lead of 170 in the Specsavers County Championship clash with Durham at the Emirates. The opening batsman resumed on 91 and a three off Chris Rushworth took him to three figures off 159 balls with one six and 15 fours. It was the fifth first class hundred of his career and he has an excellent 62.5% conversion rate of turning half centuries into three figures.

D’Oliveira’s fine knock followed on from the 25-year-old’s 150 against Derbyshire at the 3aaa County Ground last month. D’Oliveira went onto make 122 after smashing spinner Ryan Pringle for successive sixes – the first of them being a no ball which realised eight runs. He finally fell to Pringle when hitting a full toss to short extra cover after striking three sixes and 17 fours off 176 deliveries.

D’Oliveira and Moeen Ali added 130 in 29 overs. Moeen made 58 off 83 balls with four boundaries before being dismissed in Pringle’s next over, trapped lbw after attempting a sweep shot. Pringle struck again as George Rhodes (3) attempted a cut and was caught behind to leave Worcestershire on 272-7. But then Ross Whiteley and Ben Cox put together another productive partnership of 73 in 17.3 overs. Whiteley was dropped by Paul Collingwood at slip off Cameron Steel and took advantage of his let-off. He lofted Pringle for six but was bowled by the same bowler for 43 after attempting another big hit.

Mark Wood returned to take the second new ball and completed a five wicket haul as he bowled Ed Barnard (9) and had Josh Tongue (6) caught by Steel running back from short leg. Cox was left unbeaten on 32 from 54 balls with five fours. Durham were unable to launch their reply before rain set in and play was abandoned for the remainder of the day at 7.30pm.

Worcestershire skipper Joe Leach was disappointed not to be able to have a crack at the Durham batsmen this evening.

He said: “It was an outstanding innings by Brett D’Oliveira and all credit to the other batsmen for getting us in a strong position.

We had the perfect situation with a lead of 170 and a pink ball to bowl with under the lights so it’s a pity we didn’t get back out there.”

*Worcestershire Seconds suffered weather frustration as the opening day of their Championship match with Durham Seconds at Burnopfield CC was washed out.

Days 3 & 4

The Division Two match between Durham and Worcestershire ended as a draw, with no play possible on the final two days because of bad weather.

Persistent rain prevented any action on day three at the Riverside.  And, with more rain on Thursday, the game was abandoned at 14:15 BST – 15 minutes after the scheduled start time.

Worcestershire, who had a first-innings lead of 170 before the weather intervened, took 12 points from the match, while Durham collected eight.




Match Information

26 Jun 2017
Emirates Riverside, Chester-le-Street
Start time:
Nigel Cowley / Billy Taylor
Worcestershire elected to bowl.
197 All Out (52.2 overs)
367 All Out (86.4 overs)
  • Durham
  • Cameron Steel
  • Keaton Jennings
  • Jack Burnham
  • Graham Clark
  • Ben Stokes
  • Paul Collingwood
  • Ryan Pringle
  • Stuart Poynter
  • Barry McCarthy
  • Mark Wood
  • Chris Rushworth
  • Michael Richardson
  • Worcestershire
  • Daryl Mitchell
  • Brett D'Oliveira
  • Moeen Ali
  • Joe Clarke
  • George Rhodes
  • Ben Cox
  • Ross Whiteley
  • Ed Barnard
  • Joe Leach
  • John Hastings
  • Josh Tongue
  • Tom Fell