Rain dampens Katich run feast

Simon Katich was left 14 short of 1,000 championship runs for the season when rain ended play in Durham's relegation battle against Hampshire at Chester-le-Street with the hosts on 104 for 1.

Simon Katich was left 14 short of 1,000 championship runs for the season when rain ended play in Durham's relegation battle against Hampshire at Chester-le-Street with the hosts on 104 for 1.

The Australian left-hander was unbeaten on 50, his seventh championship half-century of the season, while the acting captain Jon Lewis had made 34. They had put on 95 after Michael Gough shouldered arms in the third over and was lbw to Alan Mullally for nought.

Lewis would have been run out on 31 had a shy from mid-wicket hit the stumps. Instead it added two over-throws to Katich's total, off 108 balls with five fours. There were other instances of shoddy fielding as Hampshire performed as though they were already resigned to relegation.

Durham are refusing to accept their likely fate, even though their final match next week is away to Surrey.

Lewis and Katich diligently kept out the 10 overs Shane Warne bowled in between the four breaks for rain. But with more bad weather forecast, Durham will struggle to build on their solid start.

In the Second Division, Michael Powell made 69 for Warwickshire against their neighbours Worcestershire at Edgbaston, where he shared another huge stand of 166 with the centurion Mark Wagh. Powell eventually fell caught and bowled by Glenn McGrath, but Wagh ploughed on to 118 not out as the Bears reached 224 for 1 in reply to 263.

Northampton was another place to be batting, with the hosts' middle-order man Tony Penberthy making 116 against Gloucestershire.

The Cornish left-hander helped his team turn an overnight 282 for 5 into 469 all out, and Alec Swann (61no) also lent sturdy support.

Martyn Ball and Jeremy Snape each took three wickets, and Northamptonshire's Jason Brown snared Tim Hancock and Matt Windows both lbw in Gloucestershire's reply of 65 for 3 before bad light ended play.

There was a hundred too for Sussex's Richard Montgomerie against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, where the left-arm pace bowler Jason Lewry (6 for 89) was also in top form for the visitors.

Two early wickets yesterday for Lewry wrapped up the home innings for 351, with Darren Bicknell adding only another five to his first-day score of 139.

Montgomerie's undefeated 116 came from 157 balls with 15 fours and one six as his team reached 235 for 6 before bad light had the last say.

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