Apr 112013

ALFONSO Thomas and Pete Trego shared six second-innings wickets as Somerset fought to stay in the game after a second-day batting collapse against Durham at Chester-le-Street.

The visitors were bowled out for just 132 in reply to Durham’s first day 250 all out, with Chris Rushworth taking a career-best 6-58 and Graham Onions 4-41.

But Somerset then launched a determined fightback, reducing the hosts to 92-8 by the time bad light brought a premature close.

Thomas had figures of 3-19 from 11 overs, while Trego’s return of 3-23 from 11.3 gave him six wickets in the match.

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Durham led by 210 at stumps and Somerset will need to finish the innings quickly in the morning if they are to secure victory in such bowler friendly conditions.

Their first innings got off to a bad start at the beginning of day two when Marcus Trescothick was caught by Ben Stokes off Onions, having scored only six.

Arul Suppiah followed with the total on 13, snapped up by Paul Collingwood to give the inspired Onions his second wicket.

James Hildreth hit 18 off just 11 balls before also falling to the England seamer with the score on 38.

Craig Kieswetter, promoted to bat at three, and Jos Buttler launched a brief recovery.

They took the total to 81 with a stand of 43 before Kieswetter, on 21, became Rushworth’s first victim, courtesy of another Collingwood catch.

Rushworth then sent back Alex Barrow, Trego, Thomas and Buttler as Somerset slumped to 122-8.

There was no way back as Onions bowled George Dockrell for a duck and last man Steve Kirby fell to Rushworth, also without scoring, to leave Jamie Overton unbeaten on a valuable 21.

If Durham thought the match was won, they were in for a shock as Trego dismissed their top three batsmen, Keaton Jennings, Mark Stoneman and Will Smith, with only 16 on the board.

Steve Kirby was keeping things quiet at the other end and when he had Dale Benkenstein caught behind for eight it was 20-4.

When the score had moved to 48, Thomas set to work, pinning Collingwood lbw for 11. The experienced South African quickly added the wickets of Ben Stokes (22) and Scott Borthwick (3) as Durham plunged to 68-7.

Overton claimed a deserved first wicket of the match when Callum Thorp was caught by Kieswetter for six before Phil Mustard, with an unbeaten 23, saw Durham to the close with the match fascinatingly poised.

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