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  • Specsavers County Championship 6m

    Clarke ton opens up Div Two promotion battle

    Joe Clarke scored his first Championship hundred of the season to give Worcestershire the advantage against Kent as they jostle for the Division Two promotion spots

    Joe Clarke scored his first Championship hundred of the season to give Worcestershire the advantage against Kent as they jostle for the Division Two promotion spots

    Durham 281/4 v Glamorgan 295
    Nottinghamshire 548/9d v Leicestershire 134
    Worcestershire 336 v Kent 260 & 120/3

    Durham v Glamorgan

    Graham Clark's maiden century put Durham in command on the second day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Glamorgan at Chester-le-Street.

    It was evenly balanced when Paul Collingwood joined Clark on 87 for three in reply to 295, but Durham's record stand against the Welsh county of 185 helped them to 280 for four.

    Clark was out for 109 three overs before the close, but Collingwood remained unbeaten on 72, the sixth time in his last seven innings he has passed 50, including 127 and 92 not out at Swansea.

    Marchant de Lange carried easily the greatest threat in the visiting attack and took three of the wickets. But they continued to feed the pull in front of mid-wicket, which brought Clark a six and eight of the 17 fours in his 135-ball knock.

    After Glamorgan's remaining three wickets added 74 in the morning the cooler day produced 354 runs, compared with 221 on the sun-baked first day.

    De Lange chanced his arm with the bat it in making 37 before Barry McCarthy wrapped up the Glamorgan tail.

    De Lange drove him for a straight six before the Irishman found just enough swing to find the edge.

    Lukas Carey also went for his shots and made ten before driving to mid-off and two balls later Michael Hogan edged a lavish drive to Stuart Poynter, leaving McCarthy with three for 55.

    In his final match for Durham the out-of-form Stephen Cook made 14 before de Lange had him caught behind off a tentative prod.

    Jack Burnham, returning after a broken thumb, contributed 25 to a stand of 41 with Cameron Steel before he edged Carey on to the chest of wicketkeeper Tom Cullen and the ball rebounded into the hands of Colin Ingram at first slip.

    When de Lange returned for a second spell Steel upper cut his first ball for four, drove the second to the cover boundary and watched the fourth balloon over the keeper for four byes.

    But in attempting a second upper cut he edged a poor ball to Cullen to depart for 32.

    That brought in Collingwood, who did well to keep out de Lange before beginning to accumulate steadily while relying on Clark to pepper the boundaries.

    The 24-year-old Cumbrian finally fell when he followed a de Lange away swinger and edged to give Cullen his third catch.

    At the close of play, Clark said: “It was a huge relief to get to 100. It's been a dream of mine since I was five or six years old.

    “Durham have had a strong side and I've struggled to make it through into the first team. There have been a few opportunities which I haven't taken. So now I feel a bit more settled in the side."

    Nottinghamshire v Leicestershire

    Samit Patel and James Pattinson put Nottinghamshire into a strong position at the halfway stage of their Specsavers County Championship match against Leicestershire at Trent Bridge.

    Patel scored a double hundred for the second match in a row and then his Australian team-mate produced figures of five for 33 with an explosive burst of genuinely fast bowling.

    32-year old Patel, who scored an unbeaten career best 257 against Gloucestershire at Bristol last week, almost matched it before falling for 247 soon after lunch.

    Patel batted for over seven hours and faced 305 balls, hitting 29 fours and two sixes as he became the first Nottinghamshire player to score 200 in successive matches.

    Once Patel had been dismissed Stuart Broad threw the bat to good effect and raced to 50 not out, at which point Chris Read declared the innings closed on 548 for nine.

    Dieter Klein returned the most successful figures for the Foxes, taking six for 142 from 31 overs.

    Leicestershire had no real answer to the pace of Pattinson and were dismissed for 134 in 49.5 overs, a deficit of 414. Chris Read, Nottinghamshire’s captain, then enforced the follow-on with four overs remaining but bad light prevented the players from returning.

    The Leicestershire innings was plunged into early disarray with Pattinson removing both Harry Dearden and Mark Cosgrove in a slippery opening burst. Re-introduced after tea, he then had Mark Pettini caught at third slip before demolishing the stumps of Lewis Hill and Gavin Griffiths, each with searing yorkers.

    Luke Fletcher claimed the scalp of Colin Ackermann and then Jake Ball got in the act by dismissing both Ned Eckersley and the stubborn Paul Horton, who made 31.

    Steven Mulllaney also chipped in with two wickets, including that of Ben Raine, who batted with a runner after incurring a side strain on the opening day.

    Earlier, Riki Wessels, after a fifth wicket partnership of 113 with Patel, departed for 30 after nicking the left-arm quick to Paul Horton at first slip and then Read, playing his 300th first class match, made just seven before nicking behind.

    Maximum points already secured, Notts pushed on with Pattinson playing some delightful shots on his way to 33 before being caught sweeping the off spin of Ackermann.

    Fletcher was caught behind from his first ball, giving Klein his sixth victim. Stuart Broad, aware that a declaration was imminent, hit four fours and three sixes to reach his third 50 of the summer and prompt the declaration.

    In-form Patel said afterwards: “I’m obviously very pleased to get back-to-back double centuries. If you are in form you have got to try and make the most of it and that’s what I’m trying to do.

    “I was very disappointed to get out in the way I did but I’m happy with the way it’s going and as long as we are winning it doesn’t matter. We talk about consistency and being ruthless in the dressing room and whoever is in it’s all about making partnerships, they were really crucial.”

    Worcestershire v Kent

    Joe Clarke made a return to form with his first century of the season for Worcestershire and then another highly rated youngster in Josh Tongue pressed home their advantage against Kent in the Championship encounter at New Road.
     
    Clarke scored five Championship hundreds last summer and had firmly established himself as a member of the England Lions side for the past 18 months. But the 21-year-old has struggled to build on several promising starts this summer until today as he oozed class and composure in making 142 off 197 balls with 22 fours.
     
    His efforts were largely responsible for Worcestershire obtaining a first innings lead of 76 as they were bowled out for 336 in the Division Two promotion battle despite a six wicket haul from Matt Coles. Then 19-year-old Tongue, who is in his first season of senior cricket, again demonstrated his potential by picking up two wickets in his initial five over burst.
     
    He is still a work in progress but now has 26 Championship wickets to his name and troubles batsmen with his pace and ability to extract bounce. It left Kent ending the day on 120-3 a lead of 44.
     
    But Worcestershire will not want to chase a substantial target in their final innings as Pakistan spinner Yasir Shah is likely to pose an increasing threat during the latter half of the game between the second and third places teams.
     
    Clarke was significantly aided in Worcestershire recovering from 48/3 by George Rhodes - making his first appearance of the campaign - and skipper Joe Leach. Rhodes, occupying the number five slot previously held by the departed Tom Kohler-Cadmore, figured in a stand of 131 in 33 overs before on 45 he edged Coles to Will Gidman at second slip.
     
    It was the only wicket to fall in the morning session but Shah quickly got to work as Ben Cox (19) and Ross Whiteley (0), the latter attempting an ugly swipe across the line, were trapped lbw. Barnard (16) was unfortunate to be run out as Gidman deflected Clarke's drive onto the stumps at the bowler's end and at 240-7, Worcestershire were still 20 runs in arrears.
     
    But not for the first time in adversity, Leach proved a willing ally as he dominated an eighth wicket stand of 90 in 17 overs. Four boundaries in one over from Gidman steered Worcestershire into the lead and he reached his half century off 55 balls with a straightsix off Denly.
     
    The stand was broken the final ball before tea when Clarke was caught behind off Coles who then mopped up the innings by accounting for John Hastings and Tongue to finish with 6-84 from 18.4 overs.

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