County Championship: Gloucestershire eventually break Durham resistance

Mark Wood
Mark Wood's 61 was his fifth half-century for Durham
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, College Ground (day four):
Gloucestershire 362 & 252: Noema-Barnett 69*; Stokes 3-66
Durham 275 & 298: Steel 62, Wood 61*; Taylor 4-31
Gloucestershire (23 pts) beat Durham (5 pts) by 41 runs

Gloucestershire battled to their second County Championship win of the season despite late resistance from Durham.

Needing 340 for victory, the visitors started the day on 35-0 and openers Tom Latham (45) and Cameron Steel (62) gave them a solid foundation.

However, once England all-rounder Ben Stokes was bowled by Matt Taylor (4-31) for nine to leave them at 189-5, hopes of an away win seemed slim.

Mark Wood dug in for 61 not out but ultimately ran out of partners.

England paceman Wood was clearly struggling with an injury that could affect his possible participation in the forthcoming first Test against India, with the squad set to be announced on Thursday.

He initially scored relatively quickly, hitting 17 off a single Craig Miles over, but slowed significantly after number 10 batsman George Harding went for seven.

With overs running out it seemed like Wood might lead his side to an improbable draw before Ryan Higgins (3-44) finally took the wicket of Chris Rushworth.

The victory moved Gloucestershire above Durham to seventh in Division Two, one place and eight points above them.

Durham coach Jon Lewis told BBC Newcastle:

"It was always going to be a big ask trying to get to 340.

"Mark Wood was excellent, but when you are chasing 340 you don't need your best batsman to be coming in at number 8. You need bigger partnerships higher up.

"We had lots of starts, people getting into the 20s and 30s. But chasing such a big score you need partnerships of 100 or 150.

"The first-innings deficit was too big but credit to our seam bowlers for bowling so well on a hot week when a man down from virtually the off."