Gareth Breese blew into Taunton yesterday to set up a remarkable one-wicket victory for Durham. The Jamaica all-rounder captains his island as an overseas player and is qualified as a domestic registration by virtue of a British passport. A one-Test wonder, his international career ended with a first-ball duck against India at Chennai in 2002-03. But yesterday the 28-year-old struck a career-best 165 not out - only his second century - off 224 balls with 24 fours as Durham amassed 453 for 9 to defeat a stunned Somerset.
The visitors resumed on 174 for 5 needing to find a further 277 to win. To make matters worse, Andy Caddick had roared in the previous evening to grab four wickets. The former England spearhead then pinned Nicky Peng lbw for a plucky 88 and all seemed lost.
But Breese found support all the way down the order, not least from Shoaib Akhtar. The Pakistan fast bowler had flown in for his first game of the season, and his county were hoping he would propel them to their first victory with his express pace. But instead he showed hitherto unknown prowess with the bat by hitting 46, and Caddick ended up with a mournful 5 for 149.
Also in the Second Division Nasser Hussain put paid to Ian Botham's assertion that he should be dropped from the Test team. Essex were left with a stiff target of 334 in 69 overs at Cardiff after bowling out Glamorgan for 335, off-spinner James Middlebrook taking 4 for 92. Hussain made 102 off 137 balls with 10 fours and a six, Alastair Cook scored 51 and Andy Flower's 66 put them in range but they had to cling on for a draw on 325 for 9, Darren Thomas returning 4 for 47.
The First Division game at Bristol petered out to a draw with Northamptonshire continuing their recovery after being 256 behind Gloucestershire on first innings. South Africa's Martin van Jaarsveld made 84, Usman Afzaal 64 and Gerard Brophy 58 as they progressed to 427 for 7.