Durham closed the opening day on 119-4 trailing Surrey by ten runs after Surrey had been dismissed in their first innings for 129. Fourteen wickets fell as batting proved to be difficult but an unbroken stand between of 61 between Paul Collingwood and Dale Benkenstein gave the hosts a slight advantage late in the day.
On a sunny morning at the Emirates Durham ICG Surrey omitted Murali Kartik and Chris Jordan from the starting XI. Gareth Batty won the toss and decided to bat first and Rory Burns and Zafar Ansari began solidly in testing conditions. But Ansari got a good delivery from Chris Rushworth and was caught behind for one to leave Surrey 6-1.
The bowlers were being offered encouragement from the conditions but Burns and Arun Harinath showed excellent temperament and technique. Burns’ judgement of which deliveries to play and which to ignore was impeccable and on a couple of occasions he jumped onto the front foot and drove the ball to the boundary.
Harinath was also illustrating his powers of concentration and together they took Surrey past the first hour of play. Burns had moved onto 14 when Ben Stokes bowled him with a very good Yorker that hit the base of his off stump.
And Surrey found themselves 45-3 when Stokes trapped Zander de Bruyn LBW without scoring. Harinath was joined by Jason Roy who starting confidently with three boundaries as Harinath continued to play responsibly.
Together they took Surrey to the brink of lunch but Harinath then called Roy for a single and Mark Stoneman’s direct hit saw Roy run out for 15 and Surrey going to the break with the scoreboard reading 67-4.
Straight after the break Harinath had his middle stump removed by Rushworth for 28 and Surrey were 80-6 when Matthew Spriegel was caught behind off Graham Onions for 1. And Spriegel was quickly followed by Steven Davies for 12 as he edged Rushforth to the safe hands of Scott Borthwick at slip.
Batty and Jon Lewis moved Surrey past 100 as Lewis played aggressively launching Rushworth over midwicket for 6. Batty departed for 11 as he was caught by Calum Thorp in the gully off Stokes.
Lewis’ breezy innings of 23 then came to an end when was caught behind off Thorp to leave Surrey 117-9. And Surrey were all out for 129 when Linley edged Stokes on 4 and Mustard took the catch behind the stumps.
Dernbach gave Surrey and excellent start with the ball when Mark Stoneman clipped him straight to Ansari at midwicket and departed for 6. Will Smith and debutant Keaton Jennings came together and guided the hosts to tea with the scoreboard reading 32-1.
Straight after the break Smith fell for 15 when he edged De Bruyn and Roy took an excellent catch at second slip. And Durham were 56-3 when a brilliant bit of work from De Bruyn saw him run out Jennings for 23.
Linley then got in on the action as he removed Stokes for 6 to leave the hosts 58-4 and the day in the balance. Dale Benkenstein was joined by Paul Collingwood and both showed their experience in the face of some good Surrey bowling.
They added 61 for the fifth wicket and guided Durham to stumps with Benkenstein 40* and Collingwood unbeaten on 17. A fascinating opening day and it is all to play for tomorrow in this crucial game at the Emirates Durham ICG.