Rain fails to thwart Durham against Warwickshire

LV County Championship Division One, Edgbaston
Close of play, day three: Durham 602-6 dec, Warwickshire 186 & 35-3
Durham 8pts, Warwicks 1pt
Match scorecard
Live commentary
LV County Championship

Warwickshire slipped closer to defeat against Durham despite losing most of the third day to bad weather.

The Bears failed to add to their overnight total, being bowled out for 186 when last man Andrew Miller edged.

Forced to follow on, the home side continued to struggle, losing Varun Chopra and Mohammed Yousuf for ducks, as well as ex-skipper Ian Westwood (4).

Bad light ended the day's play with Warwickshire on 35-3, still needing 380 to avoid an innings defeat.

The new Edgbaston drainage system helped Durham as they headed towards their fourth County Championship win of the season.

Although only 15.2 overs were bowled in between heavy showers, this was probably more than would have been possible before the quicker-drying, sand-based outfield was laid during the winter.

This gave Durham a chance to make some progress in response to the news that Lancashire had beaten Hampshire by lunch on the third day and stretched their lead at the top.

With the day beginning an hour late following early-morning rain, Durham needed only eight balls to take the last wicket in Warwickshire's first innings.

Ben Stokes completed a return of 4-48 when wicketkeeper-captain Phil Mustard parried an outside edge from Miller and saw the catch taken by Michael Di Venuto at second slip.

Miller faced only two balls after being called into the team as substitute for overnight batsman Boyd Rankin.

Under a new rule allowing associate member countries to take players out of county games, Rankin and opening batsman William Porterfield left the match on Wednesday evening to join Ireland's squad preparing for two one-day internationals against Pakistan.

With Durham holding a massive first-innings lead of 416, Mustard made Warwickshire bat again but further rain caused a delay of more than three hours before Steve Harmison could launch the victory bid.

After four dot balls and a leg-side wide going through to the boundary, the rain returned and Harmison's work for the day was done with a spell on the treatment room table with a back strain.

In his absence, Callum Thorp and Stokes shifted the openers, both caught by Di Venuto. And Stokes struck again when Mohammad Yousuf played across the line to register a rare king pair.

Home skipper Jim Troughton (19no) held on until bad light caused a final stoppage with Warwickshire still 381 behind.

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