Durham set new record in title hunt

Durham 648-5 Nottinghamshire 65-2

Durham yesterday recorded the biggest Championship total in their history, in the process virtually securing a second First Division pennant in two years for the North-eastern side and killing off Nottinghamshire's faint hopes. Their 648 for 5 was a stunning demonstration of the ruthlessness that has kept them head and shoulders above their rivals this season.

With defeat out of the question after their record total, the guarantee of four points for a draw means they need to take six wickets in the first 120 overs of Nottinghamshire's innings to end their opponents' and Somerset's mathematical prospects of stopping them wrapping up a second successive title. Nottinghamshire closed on 65 for 2, meaning Durham have 96 overs to take four wickets.

Durham, who will let spectators in to the Riverside free of charge today and Saturday, had Mark Davies to thank for their two wickets having declared straight after beating their previous best of 645 for 6 against Middlesex at Lord's in 2002.

They had four century-makers in an innings for the first time in Michael Di Venuto, Kyle Coetzer, Dale Benkenstein and Shivnarine Chanderpaul. In his fifth season with the club, former captain Benkenstein's century (105) was his 15th for Durham – taking him to the top of their list.

"It probably wasn't one of my best," he said. "They were struggling with injuries, but we had a target and we just set out to reach it. I really enjoyed leading the side to their first title last season. But it was time to hand over, and Will Smith has done unbelievably well."

Chanderpaul (109 not out) took great care over completing his 50th first-class century, patting back the last four balls before tea from Samit Patel when he was on 99. The West Indian reached his hundred shortly after the break courtesy of a misfield by Darren Pattinson, which summed up the display by the visiting side for whom nothing would go right. Chanderpaul put on 203 with Benkenstein, whose century came off 170 balls, compared with 209 for his partner.

In addition to losing captain Chris Read and Charlie Shreck through injury on the first day, Mark Ealham was unable to bowl yesterday because of a rib problem. Bilal Shafayat kept in place of Read for the 2005 Champions.

When Nottinghamshire batted, Scott Newman, the left-hander on loan from Surrey, looked quite comfortable until Davies brought two balls sharply back into him. The second lbw appeal was upheld; then Mark Wagh flashed a catch to Liam Plunkett at gully.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back