Sunderland’s lead cut by Blaydon

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The prospect of Saturday’s top-of-the-table Dukes North East Premier League clash between Chester-le-Street and leaders Sunderland was a mouthwatering one.

But, like so many other matches in the region, it was drowned in the early June monsoons.

Only two matches made it to their delayed starting blocks, and both were then washed away after valiant attempts to defy the elements.

One of those carried particular significance for Sunderland as it involved second-top Blaydon.

In a match reduced to 70 overs, and starting at 3pm, Blaydon won the toss and inserted Durham Academy, who duly slumped from 24-0 to 48-5 as Gary Stewart (1-15 in 12 overs) and Ben Raine (2-23) caused problems.

Jamie Thompson (26no in 73 balls) and Sameet Brar (15no in 11 balls) then dug in and, when the almost inevitable downpour ended proceedings, they had taken their team to 71-5 in 33 overs. Blaydon’s bonus points return moved them within two points of Sunderland.

The other game to start saw South North race to a 33-over declaration on 190-1, courtesy of skipper John Graham’s unbeaten century. Newcastle were 61-2 when the rain returned.