• Specsavers County Championship 2m

    Dent century thwarts Durham

    Chris Dent scored an important century to puncture any Durham hopes of squeaking out a final day victory in Bristol

    Chris Dent completed his 12th first class century as Gloucestershire battled successfully to avoid defeat by Durham on the final day of the Specsavers County Championship match at Bristol.


    Unbeaten on 64 overnight, the 26-year-old left-hander was dismissed for 101 as his side progressed from an overnight 175 for three to 320 all out, tail-enders David Payne (36 not out) and Chris Liddle (21) adding a priceless 45 for the last wicket.

    Chasing 205 to win, Durham slumped to 15 for three, Payne claiming two of the wickets. But Keaton Jennings and Michael Richardson steadied the ship with a stand of 38 and opener Jennings was still there, unbeaten on 30, when the players shook hands. Durham closed on 85 for four with a further eight overs possible.

    Earlier, Dent had built confidently on his overnight score of 64. By the time he gave a slip catch off Chris Rushworth (three for 75) the left-hander had faced 258 balls and hit 11 fours. He was dropped on 95 by Richardson at second slip off Rushworth and his departure came amid a spell in which the visitors claimed four wickets for two runs under dark clouds soon after lunch to raise victory hopes.

    Gloucestershire plunged from 253 for four to 255 for eight as Graham Onions sent back former team-mate Phil Mustard and Craig Miles, the latter bagging a pair, and Rushworth pinned Jack Taylor lbw for two.

    Durham moved in for the kill and it was 275 for nine when Liam Norwell was caught behind off a good delivery from Brydon Carse. Another wicket straight away would have given the visitors plenty of time to reach their target. Instead, either side of a break for bad light, which forced an early tea at 3.10pm, Payne and Liddle showed commendable defiance.

    Their partnership occupied 15.2 overs and by the time Durham set about their target only 31 overs remained in the match. Suddenly it was the hosts scenting victory as Stephen Cook, Graham Clark and Paul Collingwood departed in the first seven overs.

    Cook went off showing his bat after being judged lbw to the second ball of the innings, a full-length inswinger from Payne. Clark chipped Liam Norwell to deep square where George Hankins took the catch and Collingwood became a second leg-before victim for Payne, having survived a confident appeal off the previous delivery.

    Durham were 53 for four when Richardson lofted a catch to mid-off to give left-arm spinner Graeme van Buuren a wicket. Cameron Steel had dropped down to number six, possibly because of a hand injury suffered while fielding off his own leg-spin bowling. He and Jennings comfortably saw Durham to the draw.

    Gloucestershire took nine points and Durham 12.

    Gloucestershire captain and former Durham player Phil Mustard: "It was four great days of county cricket for both ourselves and Durham. I had a lot of fun facing my old team-mates. They know a lot about me and there were a few verbals while I was batting.

    "But I am a laid-back character and I really enjoyed meeting up with my old mates again.”

    Durham head coach Jon Lewis: "When we took four quick wickets at the start of the afternoon session it looked like we were in the box seat.
    "You have to give a lot of credit to David Payne and Chris Liddle for their last-wicket stand, which really changed the game. It took us longer than we wanted to take the last two wickets.”


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