Wood boosts Durham survival fight
Mark Wood’s 5-78 edged Durham closer to LV= County Championship safety as they wrapped up their third victory in a row with just eight balls to spare at Trent Bridge, condemning title-chasing Nottinghamshire to a first four-day defeat of the season.
Alex Hales compiled a first century of the summer with 101 and Riki Wessels made 98; their opening partnership of 168 in 42.1 overs put the hosts well on their way to a target of 366 from 90 overs.
Yet it was seamer Wood who played the decisive hand, removing Hales and polishing off the tail to complete a tense 16-run success.
He was well supported by leg-spinner Scott Borthwick’s 3-94, while Steven Mullaney, who made an unbeaten 60, was left high and dry after taking Notts close.
Durham batted on for four more overs to start the morning session during which time Paul Collingwood, on 59, slog-swept a six before he was bowled around his legs by Graeme White trying to repeat the feat.
The visitors declared on 325 for eight but were soon chasing leather as Wessels and Hales rarely looked troubled.
Once Wessels fell two short of a third four-day ton of the campaign – cutting Chris Rushworth to Callum Thorp at backward point after striking 10 fours in a 137-ball knock – the wickets began to steadily fall.
Michael Lumb began briskly before top-edging an attempted sweep off Borthwick to be caught at short fine-leg while Hales, put down on 82 by Collingwood at slip, was pinned lbw by Wood shortly after reaching three figures.
Having taken 9-67 in the first innings, Graham Onions completed a 10-wicket match haul by dismissing Adam Voges for a second time, before Wood cleaned up skipper Chris Read to leave Notts wobbling at 258 for five.
Paul Franks helped stabilise things but as Notts started to fall behind the run rate, both he and Graeme White fell to Borthwick attempting to lift the pace.
Mullaney and Ben Phillips, who struck Borthwick for three boundaries in an over en route to 22, kept the chase alive until the latter pulled Wood straight to midwicket in the finishing straight.
When Luke Fletcher was bowled by Wood with 11 balls to go, Durham were favourites to close out victory and they did so when the same bowler struck again to trap Andy Carter lbw, leaving Mullaney, who notched five fours and two sixes in a 104-ball knock, to wonder what might have been.