Vitality County Championship Division One – Day Two – Warwickshire v Durham

Vitality County Championship Division One – Day Two – Warwickshire v Durham

Jeetan Patel with Will Rhodes. Photo courtesy of Warwickshire CCC on Youtube, with thanks.

Records tumble but Warwickshire may struggle to force a win

At the end of two days of this Division One contest, 876 runs had been scored and only six wickets had fallen. With the possibility of rain on Monday, a decisive result is already looking problematic. Warwickshire’s massive total of 698 and three individual innings in excess of 150 may therefore prove to be in vain, the most likely winners being a docile pitch and the Kookaburra ball.

Day two started as day one had ended with landmarks being reached – the 150 partnership between Alex Davies and Will Rhodes coming up in the first over and Warwickshire’s 500 being reached in the second. This also brought up Matthew Potts’ personal hundred conceded. The first event of real note was when Callum Parkinson, already beyond his hundred, appeared to turn a ball past the outside edge of Alex Davies’ bat. In view of how long we had waited since the last wicket fell, this was taken by many to have been an optical illusion caused by the unexpected sunlight shining over Edgbaston.

Will Rhodes reached an untroubled hundred off 153 balls. Then, wonder of wonders, Parkinson turned two more deliveries to bowl both Alex Davies and Ed Barnard. Davies was out for a career best 256 off 311 balls, with 28 fours and five sixes. Barnard was out for 255 less than Davies. If Durham thought that they were in sight of a major breakthrough, they were sadly disappointed as Will Rhodes and Dan Mousley settled in to another long stand. Because of the 50 yard boundary on the Pershore Road side of the ground, we had the unusual sight of fielders on the boundary sometimes saving one. A few more yards in and they might have needed helmets.

And so the torture of Durham continued. Overseas star Scott Boland had wisely suffered an indeterminate leg injury and was off the field. Parkinson laboured on and achieved the unenviable record of conceding the most runs ever by a Durham bowler, going past his double hundred.

A few overs after lunch, Durham were spared further punishment when Alex Davies declared with Warwickshire on 698-3. This was the second highest score in their history, beaten only by the mammoth 810-4 thirty years ago when Brian Lara scored his world record 501 not out. Four Durham bowlers conceded over 100 runs. Warwickshire had batted for 134 overs and scored at 5.2 an over. Rhodes was unbeaten on 178 and Mousley on 55. The first three Warwickshire batters all scored over 150.

With the new scoreboard working much better than the old one and the sun shining, Warwickshire supporters on the Birmingham City end of the ground could find nothing to complain about between the innings other than to say “It’s a bit windy.”

When Durham began their response, Alex Lees and Scott Borthwick started confidently but, before the score reached 50, both Borthwick and Colin Ackerman had been caughtbehind, off Olly Hannon-Dalby and Craig Miles respectively. Ackerman looked particularly aggrieved to be given out; but a match tally so far of 1-95 off 16 overs and a duck probably justifies an expression of disappointment. Either side of tea, Lees and David Bedingham put together a stand that went beyond 50. When all looked like plain sailing, Bedingham gave his wicket away, popping what looked suspiciously like a gentle half volley from Rob Yates straight into the hands of Dan Mousley at short mid-wicket. He was one short of his half century and Durham were 139-3, a mere 559 behind.

Alex Lees proceeded steadily on his way as the Bears, in total, used seven bowlers. By the close, Lees was on 94 and Durham had advanced to 178-3. If Warwickshire are to win, they somehow have to conjure another 17 wickets and dodge the Monday rain.


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