Stokes treble leaves Hampshire reeling

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Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes built on Durham's new-ball gains with three key wickets to raise the prospect of a healthy first-innings lead at the Rose Bowl

England Lions all-rounder Ben Stokes was the unlikely bowling hero for Durham as Hampshire struggled to avoid the follow-on at the Rose Bowl.

Stokes, who had previously taken only 11 first-class wickets and is better known for his batting, finished day two with figures of 3-59 as Hampshire closed on 280 for six.

Durham had earlier added 60 to their overnight score of 413 for six, with skipper Phil Mustard finishing unbeaten on 68.

Hampshire's new South African signing Friedel de Wet dismissed Scott Borthwick to a catch at the wicket and both Liam Plunkett and Callum Thorp also edged through to Nic Pothas off Dominic Cork and de Wet respectively.

However, Hampshire were held up by an obdurate last-wicket stand of 33 between Mustard and Steve Harmison.

Harmison was the last to go, leg before to spinner Danny Briggs. But, while Briggs was celebrating career-best championship figures of 5-129, Harmison was receiving treatment for a hand injury.

Hampshire made the worst possible start to their reply, losing opener Jimmy Adams first ball to Thorp, with Mustard taking the catch behind the stumps.

Former England paceman Harmison had a curious four-ball cameo before leaving the pitch to go to hospital for an x-ray on his hand. Two of the deliveries were wides and Plunkett had to finish his over.

Another new Hampshire signing, Johann Myburgh, hit seven fours in a breezy 32 before falling to Plunkett.

Neil McKenzie, who made 75, and young opener Liam Dawson put on 96 for the third wicket, but the latter was bowled via an inside edge off Stokes shortly after reaching his half-century.

Stokes removed James Vince to a catch in the gully by Thorp with the score on 171 and then made a crucial breakthrough by trapping McKenzie lbw.

Hampshire were still 134 adrift of their follow-on target at that stage, but Sean Ervine and Pothas removed the imminent danger in a sixth-wicket stand of 71 as Durham struggled to make further inroads on an easy-paced surface and without the absent Harmison.

Ervine did fall before the close of play, bowled by Ian Blackwell for 33, but Pothas held firm and completed a determined half-century, from 78 balls, in the company of captain Cork.

The wicketkeeper-batsman will resume tomorrow on 50, with his team requiring a further 44 to make Durham bat again.

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