Glamorgan and Durham enter the final day of their Specsavers County Championship clash finely poised after the visitors reached 147 with seven wickets remining as they seek to set the Welsh side a challenging total.
It had looked at one stage like Glamorgan would have to follow-on but they got a first innings lead of 11 thanks to a career-best 75 from Andrew Salter.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Chris Cooke only added six runs to his overnight score of 63 before he was caught and bowled by Paul Coughlin, as the bowler dived forwards to take the catch. He could have gone in the opening couple of overs, almost playing onto his stumps. Add into the mix a dislocated finger for Durham keeper Stuart Poynter and it was an eventful start to proceedings.
Marchant de Lange came to the crease and showed some attacking intent with a series of powerfully hit boundaries, one of which forced non-striker Andrew Salter to duck under a straight drive. He followed it up with a straight-driven six off debutant left-arm spinner George Harding. But he swung once too often, and Chris Rushworth beat him with flight as he was bowled for 30, ending a 45-run partnership for the eighth wicket with Salter.
Timm van der Gugten quickly followed, caught at slip by Keaton Jennings for 0. Captain Michael Hogan came in and dealt a couple of blows for four off the first two balls of his innings. He followed that up with a six over bowler Paul Coughlin’s head towards the pavilion.
Salter brought up his fifty with a pull for six off Coughlin and raced to 61 not out with a second consecutive and identical six as Glamorgan closed in on Durham’s first innings total. Indeed, they passed the 342 mark before Salter was caught by Keaton Jennings for 75 as Glamorgan were all out for 353.
Durham began their second innings after lunch 11 runs adrift and it took just 2.2 overs for the Welsh county to get their first breakthrough with the ball, Stephen Cook playing a loose shot into the off-side straight to Salter at point off de Lange’s bowling.
We've all been in this situation before 😡 pic.twitter.com/mKMPCEa0Pl— County Championship (@CountyChamp) May 28, 2017
Durham were back in the lead by 24 runs when they lost their second wicket, Cameron Steel being bowled by van der Gugten for 10. But the visitors got back on track as Jennings and Graham Clark added 40 for the third wicket before the former fell victim to David Lloyd’s first ball of the innings, trapped lbw for 35. The easiest of chances went begging when Clark skied a ball off de Lange, the bowler running to the batsman’s end, getting under it but shelling it go at the very last second.
Durham had reached 105-3 by tea, with 39 overs still to be bowled due to overs lost on the second day. Clark, lucky to still be at the crease after de Lange's drop, reached his half-century off 97 balls soon after the break, in a crucial fourth wicket partnership with his skipper Paul Collingwood.
Glamorgan’s bowlers were made to toil in the evening session as the batsmen found their feet under darkening Swansea skies. Bad light forced the players off at 5.18pm, with Clark 63 not out and Durham skipper Collingwood unbeaten on 40.