By Tim Wellock at Riverside
First day of three: Durham (10-0) trail South Africa (362-3 dec) by 352 runs
THE record for the highest individual score at Durham's four-year-old ground fell for the second time in a month yesterday as Daryll Cullinan turned an exquisite century into a brutal double hundred.
When he visited the Riverside during his disappointing season with Derbyshire in 1995 Cullinan made 10 and nought. This time he found a surface of even bounce much more to his liking in reaching 200 not out.
Yorkshire's Michael Vaughan needed 354 balls to set the new Riverside mark of 177 last month, whereas Cullinan scored his runs off only 274, bludgeoning his second 100 off only 81 deliveries.
After winning the toss, David Boon condemned his men to a chastening day in the field, the only threat coming from the bounce generated by the new ball.
Cullinan went to the crease when Jerry Liebenberg was painfully struck on the right fore-finger by Melvyn Betts in the fifth over. The same bowler forced Gary Kirsten to play on and had Hansie Cronje gloving a lifter to gully.
Liebenberg returned at 115 for two and put on 232 with Cullinan before he swung across the line with the declaration looming and was bowled for 85.
It mattered not whether Cullinan was in elegant or savage mode, as the ball sped across the immaculate outfield to bring him 37 fours. Apart from his 117 not out against Ireland on Sunday, this was his first 100 of the tour and his highest score for South Africa, beating his 153 not out against India at Calcutta in 1996.
Durham's Jon Lewis and Michael Gough survived four overs from Allan Donald, who was included with Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener still feeling their thigh injuries. They still have the match against Derbyshire starting on Saturday to prove their fitness for next week's fourth Test.
Day 2: Bustling Betts leaves tourists on back foot
By Tim Wellock at Riverside
Second day of three: S Africans (362-3 dec & 49-4) lead Durham (286) by 125 runs
DESPITE Pat Symcox's first five-wicket haul for the South Africans, it was not a day of selector nudging. Three of the off-spinner's victims were tailenders in a Durham batting performance which would not have impressed Graham Gooch.
Present in his dual role as selector and Durham consultant, Gooch would have been interested to see how two aspiring pacemen, Melvyn Betts and Steve Harmison, fared against the tourists.
The incentive was somewhat diluted by a situation in which Durham's only hope of earning œ11,000 from Vodafone for a victory appeared to be for the South Africans to set them a target.
Betts bustled in with his usual purpose, however, bowling Gary Kirsten making an airy drive and having Jonty Rhodes caught at fine leg off a skied pull, while Tuesday's double-century-maker, Daryll Cullinan, played across a full-length ball from Harmison and was bowled.
Reducing the tourists to 49 for four was heady stuff for a crowd which had dwindled from its afternoon height of 3,000 when the fare was so stodgy that the biggest cheer came when the extras total passed 50.
They eventually advanced to 69, courtesy of 58 no balls, of which 15 were sent down in 12 overs by 22-year-old Eastern Province paceman Mornantau Hayward.
Gooch spent part of the afternoon in the nets with John Morris, whose reign as an opener has been halted by the slight recurrence of a calf injury.
His replacement, Michael Gough, displayed his usual single-minded application in making 39 off 144 balls before being run out.
He was the victim of a ``yes-no'' from David Boon, who appeared to change his mind too late when he realised his off-side push was heading in the direction of Rhodes.
Boon, caught at silly point, was Simcox's most notable victim on a day when Lance Klusener and Jacques Kallis opted for a local golf course before beginning their preparations for the fourth Test by playing against Derbyshire on Saturday.
``It was an ideal situation for us to bowl in the last hour,'' said Durham coach Norman Gifford. ``We used it well and if we can get a couple of more wickets first thing in the morning we are right in with a chance.''
Day 3: Klusener flies home as injury takes toll
By Tim Wellock at Riverside
Durham (286 & 107-4) drew with South Africans (362-3dec & 210-6dec)
GERRY Liebenberg's first century of the tour was scant consolation for South Africa yesterday in the face of lingering injury worries before next week's fourth Test at Trent Bridge.
They announced that Lance Klusener, who was unable to bowl in the second innings at Old Trafford last week, will return home today to see a specialist in Pretoria because of difficulties in locating the source of his ankle injury. They will then decide whether he can return for the rest of the tour.
Hansie Cronje, the South African captain, said: ``It's always disappointing to lose a player but when we started 22 months of non-stop cricket last September we knew this sort of thing would happen.''
Allan Donald's heel problem also appeared to be troubling him as he stepped tentatively into a seven-over spell and ended the match wicketless, despite a number of hostile overs. But coach Bob Woolmer insisted that Donald was fine and he will play in the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Match at Lord's tomorrow.
Shaun Pollock, who missed the third Test, will return against Derbyshire tomorrow, along with Jacques Kallis. Both have been suffering from thigh injuries.
The tourists set Durham a target of 287 off a minimum of 51 overs but it was agreed to call a halt at 5.30 with the score on 107 for four after 39 overs. David Boon was unbeaten on 40.
Durham looked slightly rocky on 55 for three, but Michael Gough returned after retiring hurt when struck on the left thumb by Steve Elworthy's first ball. He survived for 13 overs, by which time the tourists were losing interest. They showed no great urgency in the morning, adding 101 in 32 overs for the loss of Kronje, and batted on for 11 overs after lunch.
Liebenberg hooked and pulled impressively in hitting 11 fours off 202 balls to reach 104 not out.