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Nottinghamshire coast to nine-wicket victory over Durham

The win took Notts to the top of the County Championship Division Two table.

CRICKET 17/04/17 15:06
Nottinghamshire coast to nine-wicket victory over Durham

Nottinghamshire coasted to a nine-wicket win over Durham at Chester-le-Street to move 89 points clear of their opponents in the fledgling Specsavers County Championship Division Two table.

With the pitch looking flatter than at any time in the match, Greg Smith and Jake Libby had few problems in picking off the runs to take Nottinghamshire to the brink of victory.

They were only 15 short of the 108 target when Libby was yorked by Paul Coughlin for 39, but Smith remained unbeaten on 60. He finished the match by clipping Coughlin sweetly off his toes through mid-wicket for his ninth four.

Batting had looked relatively straightforward from the outset, but after Mark Wood had helped to add 43 for the eighth wicket, Durham’s remaining wickets went down tamely to leave Keaton Jennings unbeaten on 102.

He began last season with a century in both innings at home to Somerset and went on to hit four more hundreds at the Riverside and one at Edgbaston in setting a Durham record of seven in a season.

A century on his Test debut in India followed and he was watched by selector James Whitaker on Monday. It was the second successive Durham home game in which Jennings had carried his bat following his 201 not out against Surrey last September.

Resuming on 201 for seven, all went well for Durham until Wood fell for 21, pulling Luke Fletcher straight to mid-wicket with the total on 244. Wood had hit two high-class cover drives and an even more impressive cut for four off Fletcher.

Jennings, on 82 overnight, moved into the 90s when he pulled Jake Ball through square leg for his first boundary of the day then did well to dig out a swift yorker from James Pattinson.

When Harry Gurney replaced Pattinson, Jennings pulled the left-armer’s first ball in front of mid-wicket for four. He was on 99 when Wood departed, but ran Gurney to third man to reach his hundred off 201 balls.

Graham Onions’ reluctance to get into line saw him bowled by Gurney, then Chris Rushworth pushed his first ball into the covers and failed to beat Ball’s throw in going back for a second.

It did not take Nottinghamshire long to score the runs required for victory which they did for the loss of a single wicket.