Shreck shines amid the gloom

Lv County Championship

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Michael Di Venuto

Michael Di Venuto strikes one of three fours, but his dismissal for 15 to Darren Pattinson sandwiched two wickets for Chralie Shreck

Two wickets from seamer Charlie Shreck secured an early foothold for Nottinghamshire despite poor weather on day one of their LV= County Championship Division One clash with Durham.

In a meeting between the champions and runners-up of the past two seasons, persistent light drizzle and bad light limited the first day’s play to 27.2 overs.

That still provided Nottinghamshire with enough time to make inroads into the visiting batting line-up as Shreck removed Kyle Coetzer and Durham skipper Will Smith, while Darren Pattinson weighed in with the important wicket of Michael Di Venuto.

Ian Blackwell rode his luck, twice edging Shreck between the slips and gully, but survived to reach 24 not out, while Dale Benkenstein was unbeaten on 20 as Durham closed the day on 79 for three.

Although the rain never got beyond a drizzle at any point throughout the day, umpires Jeff Evans and George Sharp still deemed the weather unsuitable for the match to start until 1.35pm, with only five overs possible before the players left the field again.

Shreck struck with the first ball after that enforced break, Coetzer mis-timing a drive to Paul Franks at short extra-cover and followed up with a big away-swinger for Smith to edge to wicketkeeper Chris Read.

In-between, Di Venuto played a loose shot to Pattinson and his thick edge flew to Samit Patel at gully as Durham stumbled to 36 for three.

Benkenstein was circumspect in the face of the threatening pace attack and Blackwell was repeatedly tested by the swing and seam of Shreck, picking up two streaky boundaries in the 21st over with edges that avoided the slip cordon.

But the pair survived without further alarm until the final stoppage for bad light just before 6pm.