Worcestershire toil at hands of Durham duo

LV County Championship Division One, New Road
Close, day one: Worcestershire v Durham 360-4
Durham 4pts, Worcs 1pt
Match scorecard
Live commentary
LV County Championship

Gordon Muchall and Ian Blackwell both scored centuries to put Durham in charge of Worcestershire at New Road.

The hosts, who have lost all five of their Championship matches his season, initially reduced Durham to 44-3

But Muchall, who had previously passed 50 four times this year without making a ton, ended the day 152 not out.

Blackwell (130no) hit his second ton of the season, as the pair put on county fifth-wicket record of 242 to help Durham to 360-4 at stumps.

Muchall hit 20 fours and remained unbeaten after five hours at the crease, and in the process passed 6,000 first-class runs, while Blackwell's innings has contained 19 fours at almost a run a ball.

With Worcestershire in action in the CB40 on Tuesday night play did not begin until 1200 BST, but their six-wicket defeat by Middlesex at Lord's did not affect the hosts in the early stages.

Michael di Venuto and Will Smith fell cheaply to Damien Wright and Alan Richardson respectively with the score on 24.

Worcestershire's new ball pairing have now taken 50 Championship wickets between them this season.

Ben Stokes was then run out by Richard Jones for five, while Dale Benkenstein added 33 before falling to Gareth Andrew to leave the visitors 118-4.

But from there Muchall and Blackwell took charge to put Durham in a commanding position when play finished just before 2000 BST.


BBC Hereford & Worcester's Trevor Owens:

"Credit to the Durham pair of Gordon Muchall and Ian Blackwell as they batted really well in breaking the record fifth-wicket stand for the county.

"It was doing a bit early on but Muchall rode out that particular storm as well as a horrendous mix up with Ben Stokes as they put the Worcestershire change bowlers to the sword.

"For Worcestershire, the opening pair of Damien Wright and Alan Richardson bowled very well and were well supported by Gareth Andrew.

"But Moeen Ali's side is going to need quick wickets on day two or there is a very real danger of Durham posting a huge first-innings total."