CricInfo Championship: Gloucestershire v Durham at Gloucester, 13-16 Jun 2001
Mark Easterbrook

Gloucestershire 2nd innings: Tea - Day 3, Stumps - Day 3,
Durham 1st innings: Lunch - Day 3,
Live Reports from previous days


GLOUCESTERSHIRE HOPE FOR HELP FROM THE WEATHER

Mark Alleyne and Matt Windows batted Gloucestershire into a position of strength on the third day of the CricInfo Championship match at Archdeacon Meadow.

Having dismissed Durham for 287 to carve out a first innings lead of 130, the home side made light of frequent rain interruptions to reach 159-4 by the close.

Windows put his series of disappointing scores behind him to register a patient half-century and Alleyne contributed 30 in a fourth-wicket stand of 71 in 17 overs.

But a total of 26 overs were lost to rain and Gloucestershire, 289 runs in front, will require clear skies if they are to force victory on the final day.

Martyn Ball and James Averis had earlier undermined Durham's first innings, sharing eight wickets between them as the visitors were shot out for 287 inside 85 overs.

Off spinner Ball returned a season's best 4-80, bowling into the rough from the River End to dismiss Michael Gough and Danny Law in quick succession and spark a collapse which saw Durham lose their last six wickets for 60 runs.

Averis ensured the tail came and went quickly, accounting for Andrew Pratt, Nicky Phillips and Steve Harmison to finish with 4-75 from 24.2 overs, and Durham were indebted to Hunter, who contributed a gutsy 24 to steer them past the follow-on target of 268.

Durham fought back either side of tea, taking wickets at regular intervals to slow the scoring rate and frustrate the home side.

Kim Barnett was bowled by Simon Brown for 15 and fellow opener Dominic Hewson had scored 29 when he top-edged Hunter to point.

When Chris Taylor tried to flick Law off his legs and lobbed a leading edge to mid-on, Gloucestershire were 85-3 and in danger of surrendering the initiative.



HUNTER ENSURES DURHAM AVOID FOLLOW-ON

Tail-ender Ian Hunter defied Gloucestershire's bowlers for long enough to ensure Durham avoided following on at Gloucester.

The 21-year-old seam bowler contributed a valuable 24 as the visitors struggled on the third day of the festival match.

Although Durham eventually conceded a first innings lead of 130, Hunter had at least improved their chances of forcing a draw.

When he came in to bat, his side were in trouble at 153-7, still requiring 15 to avoid the follow-on. By the time Hunter was caught driving to long off shortly after lunch, the northerners were out of immediate danger.

Martyn Ball claimed a season's best 4-80, James Averis moped up the tail to finish with 4-75 and Jack Russell took five catches as Durham were bowled out for 287 inside 85 overs.

Gloucestershire, needing to score quickly, lost openers Kim Barnett and Dominic Hewson before reaching tea on 62-2, a lead of 192.

Barnett was bowled by Simon Brown for 15, while Hewson had scored 29 when he top-edged Hunter to point.



MORNING OF STRUGGLE FOR DURHAM

Martyn Ball and James Averis claimed two wickets apiece as Gloucestershire turned the screw on the third day of the Championship match at Gloucester.

Durham appeared to be in little danger when resuming on 211-4 in reply to 417. But they were still four runs short of saving the follow-on when they reached lunch on 264-8.

Off spinner Ball struck twice in successive overs from the River End to plunge the visitors into trouble, having Michael Gough caught behind for a Championship-best 79 and then decieving Danny Law into chipping to short mid-wicket for 24.

Durham had slipped from the safety of 227-4 to 240-6 and new batsmen Andrew Pratt and Ian Hunter found themslves shouldered with the responsibility of steering their side beyond the follow-on figure of 268.

Averis had Pratt caught at second slip for six and Nicky Phillips followed in the last over before lunch, edging behind having scored three.

Gloucestershire had earlier been thwarted by rain and 12 overs were lost when a downpour delayed the start by 45 minutes.

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Date-stamped : 15 Jun2001 - 22:42