Durham in postion to clinch win

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A SECOND day in which 17 wickets fell at Chester-le-Street left Durham in a strong position to register their first win of the LV= County Championship season.

Graham Onions and Chris Rushworth claimed four victims apiece as Somerset were skittled for 185 and the hosts extended a first-innings lead of 123 runs to 275.

They were, however, seven down at stumps as Peter Trego, fresh from a battling 48 which put the brakes on his side’s terminal batting decline, took his tally to six wickets for the match with another three.

Having dismissed Durham for 308 on the opening day, Somerset would have had high hopes of narrowing the gap, if not surpassing it, resuming on seven without loss.

But the early departure of captain Marcus Trescothick, chopping on one which nipped back from Onions, set the tone.

From 24 without loss they slipped to 84 for five and only Trego’s 79-run stand with Craig Kieswetter, who made 35, prevented an premature conclusion to the innings.

The return of Onions after lunch provided the breakthrough again, as Trego was pinned leg before to end a 41-ball knock which included a six and six fours.

Kieswetter followed next, feathering a thin edge to wicketkeeper Phil Mustard off Rushworth and when Nick Compton, batting down the order at eight after suffering neck spasms, was last man out to a sixth lbw decision in the last seven wickets to fall, Somerset were all out for 185.

Such a substantial first-innings lead gave Durham more freedom to press home their advantage, and after losing Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick, the latter to a brilliant one-handed catch from Chris Jones at short midwicket, South African 21-year-old Keaton Jennings and South African-born Michael Richardson put on 57 for the third wicket either side of tea.

Durham’s lead was 211 when Richardson pulled Jamie Overton straight to Lewis Gregory at midwicket to depart for 32. But Jennings’ dismissal for 41, edging an attempted drive to Trescothick off spinner Johann Myburgh, was quickly followed by those of Mustard and Gareth Breese, who fell in consecutive balls to Trego. Although Usman Arshad managed to survive the hat-trick ball he did not stay around much longer, falling in the next over.

Captain Paul Collingwood (23 not out) and Jamie Harrison (16 not out) ensured no further losses in guiding their side to 152 for seven at the close.

H Jack Brooks is certain he made the right move in joining Yorkshire after he dealt his former county Northamptonshire a harsh lesson in life in the LV= County Championship top flight.

Brooks enjoyed the best day of his White Rose career since moving north two years ago, as his newly-promoted former employers were skittled for 94 in a session.

The 29-year-old did the majority of the damage, claiming his Yorkshire-best figures of five for 36 - after hitting an unbeaten 37 - as only rain after tea saved Northamptonshire from further embarrassment.

The visitors were therefore left to contemplate a deficit of 365 runs and, although rain is forecast during the final two days, the knowledge they will be sent straight back in once the weather clears today.

Brooks felt little sympathy for his former team-mates, however, instead admitting it had made him feel better about leaving the club that gave him his county break.

“No matter what happens to them over the next few years I won’t ever regret having moved up here,” said Brooks, whose parents are Northamptonshire members and travelled up for the match.

“I think that justifies my decision - what has happened over the last few days - of how my cricket is going forward with this team.

“It’s a great club to be part of at the minute.

“I’m enjoying my cricket at the minute, I enjoyed it at Northants, but I enjoy winning - if we can challenge for trophies then that’s fantastic.”

Brooks admitted he had probably delivered a stark warning to injury-hit Northamptonshire, whose plans for the step-up in division have also been frustrated by their failure to land an overseas signing.

Northamptonshire only just hung on for a draw in their season-opener against champions Durham last week, but after Monday’s display they appear set for a season scrapping against relegation.

“It is going to be a tough year for them,” Brooks said.

“They are going to have to graft and work hard. I know they have a good work ethic and they play well as a unit.

“(Today) will be a bit of a wake-up call for those who haven’t played in the top division.

“One session can cost you a game and that has shown there.

“We are the type of team that if we can stay on top we are not going to let teams off the hook.”

Yorkshire had earlier proved there were few demons in the Headlingley wicket - despite the presence of a few bare-coloured circles which may prompt further review - as they racked up 459 for nine declared.

Gary Ballance (174) reached his highest first-class score for Yorkshire as he combined with the tail to add a further 131 runs in 33 overs before their declaration prompted a slightly late lunch.

Skipper Andrew Gale’s decision to call his men off meant a potential first-class world record for lbw decisions in an innings was not broken.

Umpires Ian Gould and Mark Benson split eight lbw decisions evenly between them to equal the mark.

Ballance was the last of the batsman to fall lbw, trapped by Andrew Hall, but by then he had already furthered his claim to remain in England’s Test team after touring Australia in the winter.

“Gary’s knock was near faultless,” Brooks said.

“It’s still a reasonable deck to bat on if you bat properly. Gary showed the application. Good players can get runs on it.

“We all know he’s a class player and last season’s form was worthy of his Ashes tour.

“I think he needs to be given more of a go (in the Test team) to be honest with you.

“He’s good enough and he’s got the perfect game and mentality for Test cricket.”