County Championship: Richardson leads Durham recovery

Michael Richardson
Michael Richardson is a former MCC Young Cricketer
LV= County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl (close, day one)
Durham 278-6: Richardson 91, Muchall 85 not out; Bird 3-80
Hampshire: Yet to bat
Hampshire 2pts, Durham 2pts
Match scorecard

Michael Richardson missed out on a first century of the season but helped Durham recover from a precarious position against Hampshire.

The visitors chose to bat first and slumped to 91-4 at lunch, with James Tomlinson (2-47) making early inroads.

Richardson (91) struck eight fours and a six in leading a fightback, sharing 142 with Gordon Muchall (85 not out).

He eventually fell to Australia paceman Jackson Bird (3-80) before Durham moved on to 278-6 by stumps.

Durham were instantly in trouble as Bird trapped Mark Stoneman lbw for a duck with the fifth ball of the opening morning.

Richardson struggling to convert
Durham's keeper-batsman Michael Richardson has scored four half-centuries this season, with 59 against Somerset, 51 not out against Notts, 66 not out against Worcestershire and now 91 against Hampshire, but has yet to convert that into three figures.

Debutant Graham Clark was also leg-before, this time to Tomlinson, leaving the visitors on 14-2.

Former England one-day skipper Paul Collingwood joined Scott Borthwick, who passed 800 first-class runs for the season during his innings of 49.

As both fell in the lead up to lunch, Richardson and Muchall had to be patient at first, but then began to dominate as they looked like they would bat out the day.

But Bird gave the hosts a late boost with two wickets in two balls, when he trapped Richardson lbw and had Ryan Pringle caught in the slips, his 150th first-class wicket, meaning honours ended just about even.

Hampshire bowler Jackson Bird:

"I think it's been a pretty even day. We started well, got a bit out of the surface with the new ball and got a few early wickets and then the wicket flattened out once the ball got softer.

"Muchall and Richardson batted quite well in the afternoon session and then it was good to get those wickets late in the day."

"The wicket is pretty dry, but there is a little bit of grass in the centre of the wicket for the seamers with the new ball. Hopefully we can finish them off pretty quickly in the morning and our openers can get into their work."

Durham batsman Michael Richardson:

"It's nice to get a biggish contribution. I've had a strange season so far so to put my foot down and kick on past 50 was nice.

"It was very disappointing to get out for 91, it was a bit of a sucker punch but he [Jackson Bird] is obvious Test match class. He showed that by shaping to swing it away and it just nipped back.

"I think the wicket is quite hard to score on. You only have to look at the amount of boundaries scored in the day, they were very disciplined.

"We are going to try and get as many as we can and hopefully the cracks broaden and it starts to turn more."

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