Durham 234 & 165-3 Hampshire 256: Thorp batters Hampshire

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The Independent Online

It was bowlers, not wickets that fell yesterday. Durham had to take the field in the morning without seamer Mark Davies, while Hampshire later lost the services of the new ball bowler James Bruce.

Neither man will bowl again in the match according to their coaches, although Bruce, who has a niggling muscle problem that affects his bowling arm, will be able to bat if needed; there is, apparently, no chance of Davies doing that.

This was Davies's first Championship match for a year, after a stress fracture of the back sidelined the 25-year-old last June, and this setback is cruel on him and on Durham.

Hampshire's attack was also hit by the loss of Sean Ervine and Nic Pothas to a stomach bug although both players rejoined the activities late in the day.

It was just as well that Durham still had Callum Thorp. He followed up his first day maiden half-century by hitting the home side for six with the ball.

That Hampshire could only muster a 22-run lead could be laid squarely at the feet of the Aussie's career best return of 6 for 55.

Among his victims was the in-form John Crawley, who had passed 50 for the seventh time in 10 Championship innings and was looking set for a third successive hundred.

The third over after lunch saw Thorp bowl Crawley, when he was seven short of three figures, then account for Shane Warne. The Hampshire captain took his team close to a precious batting point, and Chris Tremlett helped them scrape past the mark into a slender lead.

Thereafter Durham ground their way back into the match. Openers Jon Lewis and Jimmy Maher wiped out the deficit in a half-century stand before being parted.

Maher went on to help Durham into a three-figure lead before falling leg before to Dimitri Mascarenhas and he departed with a half century under his belt.