Durham 122 for 6 (Eckersley 39*, Morris 2-23, Leach 2-38) v Worcestershire
Worcestershire are narrowly on top after a rain-affected day one of their County Championship Division Two clash against Durham, although late resistance guided the home side to a total of 122 for 6 by the close at Emirates Riverside.
Joe Leach and Charlie Morris were on point with the ball in the morning session, taking two wickets apiece reducing Durham to 47 for 6. The afternoon and evening sessions were blighted by poor weather, but the breaks in play gave Ned Eckersley and Ben Raine time to settle. The two put on a partnership worth 75 to stem the tide and hand the hosts a decent platform for day two.
Durham were inserted in the morning session after an uncontested toss. Cameron Bancroft appeared to be continuing his excellent form at the crease, scoring two boundaries from the opening over. However, the Durham skipper was pinned lbw by a fine delivery from Dillon Pennington for only eight. Leach found his rhythm after his underwhelming first over to remove Gareth Harte and Jack Burnham in successive deliveries.
Morris’ introduction into the attack resulted in the wicket of Alex Lees for 12 as the opener played all around a straight ball. On his recall to the team Ryan Pringle failed to make an impact, loosely clipping a drive straight to Joshua Dell at mid-wicket off a routine delivery from Ed Barnard. A tight line from Morris was rewarded when Graham Clark feathered an edge through to Ben Cox before rain ended the morning session.
The weather prevented further play until after 3pm. Eckersley began to lead a recovery effort, finding the boundary to get the scoreboard moving in the right direction for Durham. He and Raine kept the Worcestershire attack at bay before another interruption due to the elements.
However, the players were back on the field after a brief stoppage. Eckersley continued in the same manner in the middle, picking his moments to score.The partnership for the seventh wicket moved to 40 before the overhead conditions worsened once again, forcing the duo to drop anchor.
Towards the end of the day the weather cleared, Eckersley and Raine took the opportunity to bring up their fifty partnership in 91 balls, reaching the milestone courtesy of a boundary down the ground from the former. The two players guided their side past the 100-run mark before further rain brought an end to the day.