Durham thankful to Michael Di Venuto ton against Notts
|LV County Championship Division One, Emirates Durham ICG|
|Close, day one: Durham 272-7, Nottinghamshire|
|Durham 2pts, Notts 2pts|
Michael Di Venuto held County Championship leaders Durham together with 132 on the opening day against Nottinghamshire at Chester-le-Street.
On a day when 23 overs were lost to rain, only 55 other runs had come off the bat when Di Venuto reached his century off 139 balls.
Di Venuto dropped anchor in the final session as Andre Adams' four wickets had Durham rocking on 197-6.
But he fell in the penultimate over as his side closed on 272-7.
However, captain Phil Mustard, batting at eight after opting for an extra batsman following the return of all-rounder Ben Stokes in place of the injured Steve Harmison, did survive until the close and will resume on 46.
Durham won the toss for the 11th time in 12 Championship games and chose to bat, seeing Di Venuto and Will Smith put on a relatively trouble free 54 for the first wicket.
Smith made only 13 of those before lifing Darren Pattinson to long leg, before Adams removed Gordon Muchall (30) and Paul Collingwood for a duck in quick succession.
Adams also had Dale Benkenstein caught at gully and Ian Blackwell at slip either side of Paul Franks pinning Stokes leg before to leave Durham in trouble.
But Mustard, who survived a streaky start and a difficult chance to Pattinson at mid-on off Charlie Shreck on 30, and Di Venuto led the recovery, only for the Australian opener to edge Steven Mullaney through to Chris Read late on.
CLOSE OF PLAY SUMMARIES
BBC Newcastle's Martin Emmerson:
"With things so tight, every point Durham can gain at the moment is vital. They chose to bat here on a sticky day and it required something special for them to keep their heads above water.
"Centuries always help and Michael Di Venuto's third of the season was one of tenacity and graft. He batted for all but 10 balls of a hot day and helped Durham to two valuable batting points, which keeps them just ahead of Lancashire.
"Another bonus batting point on day two would be great. Two would be excellent."
BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle:
"It's not too often that one of the most significant moments of a championship day happens as late as 6.41pm but that's when Notts eventually removed Michael Di Venuto, after an imperious century.
"The new day will bring a new ball, and a chance to close out the Durham first innings for less than 350.
"Over the last couple of weeks Notts seem to have remembered how to play the four-day stuff again - and the opportunity to watch a couple of debutants should make day two compelling viewing."