Durham tighten grip over Warwickshire

LV County Championship Division One, Edgbaston
Close of play, day two: Durham 602-6 dec, Warwickshire 186-9
Durham 8pts, Warwicks 1pt
Match scorecard
Live commentary
Will Smith and Dale Benkenstein
The stand between Smith and Benkenstein was a Durham fourth-wicket record and the county's highest for any wicket against Warwickshire

Durham dominated Warwickshire with bat and ball to take complete control of their clash at Edgbaston.

Resuming on 348-3, former skippers Will Smith (179) and Dale Benkenstein (128) took their stand to 273 - a Durham record for the fourth wicket.

Ian Blackwell (99) and Phil Mustard (71 not out) also weighed in as they declared on 602-6.

Only Varun Chopra (79) offered any resistance as Warwickshire closed on 186-9 in reply, still 416 behind.

Callum Thorp got the early breakthrough for Durham, having William Porterfield caught at third slip, before Steve Harmison made further inroads by having Ian Westwood and Mohammad Yousuf caught at short leg and square leg respectively in successive balls.

Captain Jim Troughton was then run out by Scott Borthwick at cover, and although Chopra and Darren Maddy threatened a recovery with a stand of 86, both fell to slip catches in the space of eight balls from Thorp.

Ben Stokes then took three wickets to leave the Bears deep in trouble and Durham in pole position to complete the double over Ashley Giles' side.

Smith and Benkenstein played a crucial role in putting their side in such a commanding position, with their stand beating the 250 set by Benkenstein and Paul Collingwood against Derbyshire in 2005.

Both eventually fell to the spin of Chris Metters, but not before Benkenstein, 90 not out overnight, had completed his third Championship century of the season.

Even then the Bears' agony continued as Blackwell and Mustard plundered 163 together in 28 overs before Durham declared when Blackwell fell to Boyd Rankin.

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