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Richardson crushes Stockton hopes

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Durham’s South African born Mike Richardson hit his second century in five days to send the hopes of Stockton moving out of the bottom three crashing spectacularly.

Although playing his club cricket with Newcastle it was on Teesside that his week of batting excellence was completed.

Following an unbeaten ‘ton’ for Durham’s Second XI against Yorkshire at Marske he hit 171 without being out again to leave his Tyne clubmates overjoyed as they knocked off the seemingly impossible target of 296 to grab their first win of the season.

Michael Richardson

Mike Richardson blasts 171

Stockton hit their top batting form to declare after 60 overs on 295 for six, South African, Keaton Jennings also demonstrating how he enjoys sunshine on his back by sharing in an opening stand of 155 with John Rickard for the Grangefield club.

Jennings made 67 from 110 balls with six fours as Rickard went on to reach 96 with 12 boundaries. He had faced 131 balls.

But then came the Richardson onslaught, a magnificent display of strokeplay with his undefeated 171 coming from 169 balls and including 17 boundaries with six of them six hits.

He shared a second wicket stand of 112 with opener Neil Corby (57) who faced 88 balls. And for Newcastle there was the perfect ending – victory by two wickets with two balls of the game remaining.

Sunderland continued their outstanding start to the season with their fourth win in six games to remain ten points clear as league leaders. They defeated South Shields by the significant margin of 196 runs after their batsmen topped the 300 mark.

Chris Hooker was unbeaten on exactly 100 after skipper Dan Shurben (60) led by example. In a final flurry Chris Rushworth (79) showed no mercy on the Shields bowlers to help take the Wearsiders to 302 for six.

Then he grabbed three of the first five Shields wickets and along with Mike Turns (3-14) left the home side floundering. They were dismissed for just 106 with Rushworth (4-43) showing his all-round ability.

Bold Blaydon stayed closely in touch in second place after bowling our Benwell Hill for 149 and going on to win by seven wickets. Graeme Bridge (4-25) and Allan Worthy (52 not out) were their match winners.

And Chester-le-Street are eyeing up the chance to cash in on any loss of form by staying on Blaydon’s shirt-tails. They exploited the injury problems of Hetton Lyons to bowl them out for 197 in reply to their impressive declared total of 294 for five.

Scott Borthwick made his debut for the Cestrians with a timely knock of 61 while Liam Simpson (72no) and Andrew Smith (85) again showed their special talents.

Simpson then became man-of-the-match by taking five wickets in an eight over spell which included the wickets of top scorers, Rob Talbot (65) and Jarvis Clay (62). Hetton survived just 45 overs and lost by 104 runs.

Durham Academy took South North to the brink but couldn’t get the last wicket to record what would have been the outstanding result of the day.

Benwell youngster Jack Clark hit a superb century and Cole Pearce added 60 as the Academy posted 222 for eight and they had South North hanging on at 161 for nine at the close.

Ryan Buckley (3-44) and Andrew Ireland (2-43) led a six-man attack which left the champions fighting an uphill battle.

In the day’s other game Tynemouth easily got the better of bottom club Gateshead Fell who were bowled out for 173 and beaten by seven wickets. Phil Morse (6-25) put the Fell batsmen on the back foot before South African Patrick Botha excelled with an unbeaten 84.