Durham registered their two lowest scores in first-class cricket as they collapsed to an ignominious innings defeat on an extraordinary day’s cricket in their Specsavers County Championship match against Leicestershire at the Fischer County Ground.
The visitors were unable to cope with the bowling of Pakistan international seamer Mohammad Abbas, who took five for 43 in Durham’s first innings and five for 29 in the second, giving him match figures of 10 for 52.
The visitors were bowled out twice in just two sessions on a humiliating day which saw their batsmen last just 52.3 overs.
Abbas was the chief destroyer and was all-but unplayable by one of the division’s weaker batting line-ups, while fellow seamers Neil Dexter, Ben Mike and Gavin Griffiths all offered excellent support.
Remarkably, the day had actually started well for Durham, with Matt Salisbury quickly taking the two wickets needed to end Leicestershire’s first innings, knocking Griffiths’ off-stump out of the ground and then pinning Abbas leg before with a full delivery.
Thereafter, however, it was a day they will not be allowed to forget on a pitch that, while offering the seamers a small amount of assistance, was far from the minefield the scores might suggest.
Durham’s first innings saw Abbas quickly into his work, beating Cameron Steele twice before seaming his fourth delivery back into his pads to dismiss the opener lbw.
Gareth Harte edged a bouncing delivery to Dexter at second slip, and Graham Clark also went leg before to a ball that came back.
Michael Richardson lost his off-stump to his second ball, and Paul Collingwood - making his last appearance away from Durham’s Riverside Stadium - edged his first ball to Colin Ackermann at second slip.
Stuart Poynter surved an lbw shout to the hat-trick ball, only to steer a Dexter delivery into the hands of Harry Dearden at point before he had scored.
Dexter’ spell, up the slope and into the wind, was almost as remarkable as that being produced by Abbas: seven overs, six maidens, one wicket for one run.
Mike replaced Abbas and immediately bowled a fine delivery which trimmed Mark Wood’s off-bail, Alex Lees heaved at Griffiths and spooned a catch to square leg, and Salisbury and Benny McCarthy sparred away and edged catches to the wicket-keeper.
The procession continued in the second innings, Abbas seaming the ball back into the right-handers at pace and clattering the stumps time and again.
Steel, Richardson, Collingwood and Rushworth were all bowled by Abbas but at the other end Clark, Harte and Poynter were all guilty of playing loosely and contributing to their own downfall.
Durham’s previous record low score was 67, made against Middlesex at Lord’s in 1996, but it was beaten twice on a shocking afternoon in Leicester.