Cricket: Middlesex under pressure against Collingwood’s Durham

Durham's Paul Collingwood trudges off (pic Mike Egerton/PA)

Durham's Paul Collingwood trudges off (pic Mike Egerton/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Durham have made the perfect start to Paul Collingwood’s final match, producing a strong performance to lead Middlesex by 106 runs on day one of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash at Emirates Riverside.

Coach Jon Lewis demanded that his players put in a display to reflect the career of the former England all-rounder to respond from their humiliating defeat at the hands of Leicestershire last week. Matt Salisbury rose to the occasion with the ball, claiming his best figures in first-class cricket of 6-37 to bowl out the visitors for 121.

Gareth Harte and Michael Richardson made fifties to lead the way with the bat as Durham bounced back from their abject efforts from Grace Road. Collingwood’s hopes of ending his career in style were dashed when he was dismissed for 32, although Harte was there at the close unbeaten on 76 with the home side ending the day 227-5.

Middlesex made the curious choice to bat on a chilly September morning at Chester-le-Street, allowing Collingwood to receive a guard of honour from his team-mates.

Nick Gubbins and Sam Robson made a decent start scoring 32 off the first seven overs. However, Salisbury made the breakthrough, producing a fine delivery to take Gubbins’ edge behind to Stuart Poynter for 19.

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The 25-year-old displayed a good rhythm after an underwhelming first over and he notched his second wicket of the morning by trapping Robson lbw.

Chris Rushworth beat the bat several times before being rewarded with the scalp of Middlesex captain Dawid Malan, while Salisbury kept bounding in with menace with almost every delivery, accounting for Stevie Eskinazi and Robbie White. Mark Wood put Durham in control with the wickets of Max Holden and James Harris.

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Durham wrapped up the tail in just 16 deliveries at the start of the second session as Salisbury struck twice in the same to claim his maiden five-wicket haul in first-class cricket, dismissing James Fuller courtesy of a bizarre stroke along with Ethan Bamber.

Wood wrapped up the innings when he bowled Tim Murtagh, claiming his third wicket of the day.

The home side needed a response with the bat after being skittled twice in the sixties in their humiliating defeat at the hands of Leicestershire at Grace Road. Cameron Steel and Alex Lees were composed in the early stages, although both openers were out after making starts as Murtagh and Harris made inroads.

Harte and Richardson held firm at the crease, guiding Durham past Middlesex’s first innings total. Richardson past fifty for the second time of the campaign, reaching the milestone off 67 balls, including six fours. However, he was unable to kick on as Murtagh struck to break the partnership of 89.

Richardson’s dismissal brought the arrival of Collingwood, who received his second guard of honour of the day – this time from the visiting side. Harte eased the pressure on his skipper playing two fine strokes to reach his fifty off 98 balls.

Collingwood was dropped on nine by Eskinazi, who took a blow to the face in the process, forcing him to exit the field. The Durham skipper played a couple of crisp drives through the covers before he fell for 32 to Bamber – leaving the crease at the Riverside for potentially the final time.

Harte continued his innings unbeaten with Poynter at the end, with Durham boasting a healthy lead of 106 runs at the close.

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