Cricket: Durham dampener

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The Independent Online
Durham's gloom deepened when rain at Chester-le-Street yesterday cost them the chance of securing their first County Championship victory of the season and left them at the foot of the table.

Gloucestershire, chasing a target of 395, had not given up hope of victory themselves against the depleted Durham attack when they reached lunch on 113 for 2. Torrential rain prevented a resumption until 4.30 and another shower forced a further 20-minute break before stumps were drawn at 5.30 with Gloucestershire on 150 for 2.

They began the day on 39 without loss but lost a wicket to the first ball of the morning when the Durham-born Nick Trainor shuffled across his stumps and was lbw to Simon Brown.

The first hint of the frustration to come arrived after just two overs when rain drove the players off. On the restart Tony Wright survived a testing time against Melvyn Betts to reach a 75-ball half-century before being run out in the last over before lunch when called for a quick single by Tim Hancock.

In the afternoon, Hancock managed to complete his 50 off 111 balls and finished on 59 not out to add to his unbeaten 65 in the first innings.

India's preparations for the final Test at Trent Bridge later this week were interrupted when rain washed out the last day of their Tetley Challenge match against Hampshire at Southampton, where only 18 overs were possible.

Hampshire resumed their first innings at 383 for 9 in response to India's total of 362 for 5 made on the first day.

Their last pair, Martin Thursfield and Stuart Milburn, batted through the 18 overs of the morning session before rain at lunch washed out the remainder of the match.

Milburn took the opportunity to record the first half-century of his career and was 54 not out when the match was abandoned as a draw.