County Championship Division One, Durham
Day three, close: Durham 237 & 275-4 dec v Yorkshire 177 & 17-0
Durham 4pts, Yorkshire 3pts
Opener Mark Stoneman hit his fifth first-class century to put Durham in position to press for victory on the final day against Yorkshire.
Dropped on 11 by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, left-hander Stoneman struck a six and 11 fours in his innings of 109.
He shared an opening stand of 123 with Keaton Jennings, who made 48.
Dale Benkenstein (61) and Paul Collingwood (36) set up a declaration on 275-4 and Yorkshire closed on 17-0, chasing a target of 336.
Skipper Collingwood also benefitted from a let-off behind the stumps as the home side’s two most experienced batsmen added 68 in an unbroken partnership, after Durham old boy Liam Plunkett had removed Stoneman and Ben Stokes in quick succession.
Stoneman was caught by Gary Ballance after batting for over three and three quarter hours, an innings which must have come as a great relief after he managed only 33 runs in his first five Championship innings of the summer.
Jennings also hinted at a return to form before he edged a rising delivery to Bairstow off the bowling of England’s Tim Bresnan, who later in the same over claimed the other wicket to fall when Will Smith was caught by Joe Root for four.
Black clouds gathered overhead in the final session and rain and hail forced the players off the field, prompting Durham’s declaration, but Adam Lyth and Root survived seven overs after the re-start to leave all three results still possible on day four.