Wonderful Wood shocks Aussies
Mark Wood produced a scintillating spell with the ball in the final session of day one to haul Durham back into their match against Australia A at the Emirates Durham ICG.
The 22-year-old made the most of a helpful pitch by claiming first-class best figures of 4-22 as the tourists - in their final contest prior to two four-day matches against England Lions - slipped to 111 for six in reply to 197.
The hosts’ inexperienced batting line-up had suffered an all-too familiar story early on and Australia A's attack profited from some poor shot selection.
Teenage Durham debutants Rammy Singh and Paul Coughlin chipped in with useful contributions, but seamer Alister McDermott, the son of former Australia Test bowler Craig, put the county side on the back foot with figures of 4-38.
In reply, the visitors lost captain Ed Cowan to Ruel Brathwaite early on and stumbled from 69 for one to 94 for six as Coughlin made Michael Klinger his maiden first-class wicket before Wood seized the initiative following a short rain delay.
His quartet of scalps included Liam Davis, who has an unbeaten triple century to his name in 2012, for 40; Peter Forrest, Tom Cooper and George Bailey joined Cowan in failing to reach double figures.
Wood was bowling with such confidence that Australia will have been relieved to end the day only six wickets down and 86 runs behind.
Durham currently prop up the LV= County Championship Division One table and a large factor in their lowly position has been a lack of runs. It was therefore no surprise when stand-in captain Mark Stoneman elected to bat upon winning the toss, clearing viewing this encounter as an excellent opportunity to find some form.
They made an encouraging start too, with Singh frustrating the Friends Life t20’s leading wicket-taker Mitchell Starc.
Yorkshire’s overseas star treated Singh to a prolonged stare at one point as his frustration grew, but once McDermott had the opener trapped in front for 22, the wickets began to tumble.
Gordon Muchall was caught behind off the impressive Nathan Coulter-Nile before Stoneman clipped McDermott to Bailey at square-leg.
Ben Stokes followed when he holed out off McDermott and Ian Blackwell departed for a four-ball duck to slow left-armer Jon Holland before Durham took lunch on 91 for five.
The hosts fought back in the second session, Johann Myburgh and Michael Richardson compiling a sixth-wicket stand worth 57.
Myburgh, who top-scored with 34 and moved his feet well against Holland, was fortunate to survive against Coulter-Nile; the South African was squared up by three successive deliveries.
Holland brought about Richardson’s demise before Coulter-Nile eventually got his man as Myburgh sliced to Davis at cover-point.
Play was suspended for 20 minutes due to a light shower, but the visitors soon picked up where they left off as Holland snared the scoreless Wood.
Mitchell Claydon became McDermott’s fourth scalp but Durham’s final pair of Coughlin and Braithwaite provided stubborn resistance in a stand that could yet prove pivotal, with the former heaving Harris over midwicket for the innings’ only maximum.
On Yorkshire Day, it was Starc who severed the 46-run partnership when he dismissed Brathwaite to pick up his only wicket of the day.