Sangakkara flops on debut but Durham still fight back
Yorkshire 589-8, Durham 361-8: Stoneman 131, Richardson 148
Tuesday 06 May 2014
Kumar Sangakkara’s debut Durham innings came and went in the blink of an eye. However, career-best performances by Mark Stoneman and Michael Richardson provided last year’s champions with ample consolation, making it highly likely that they will escape with a draw against Yorkshire, the side they beat to the title, despite conceding 589 runs in the first innings.
The 36-year-old Sri Lankan, scorer of almost 25,000 international runs, faced England bowlers Tim Bresnan and Ryan Sidebottom for his only two deliveries, watching the first fly past the outside edge before the second took it, diverting to Kane Williamson, who failed to take the catch at third slip but was rescued by Adam Lyth at second.
Given that Sangakkara’s short-term contract at Chester-le-Street will encompass a maximum of four Championship innings, it was not the best of starts and it was hardly a surprise to see him later hard at work in the nets. Fortunately, as they tried to reach a target of 440 to avoid the follow-on or, failing that, to bat long enough over two innings to avoid defeat, Durham were superbly served by Stoneman and Richardson.
The left-handed Stoneman completed a fluent half-century soon after the start, scored off only 54 balls. Subsequently, he was required to dig in as Yorkshire’s bowlers stepped up the pressure, with Bresnan and Sidebottom the more consistent threats.
But Stoneman did not offer a chance until he had completed his hundred, which came with consecutive leg-side boundaries off Jack Brooks. It was his ninth in first-class cricket, six of them coming since August 2012. Surviving a chance to Adil Rashid at first slip off Sidebottom on 102, he went on to reach 131 before he was leg-before misjudging a ball from Liam Plunkett.
Richardson, arriving at 70 for 3, played the perfect supporting role for Stoneman in a stand that added 136 for the fourth wicket, his progress measured until he had gone past 50 from 112 balls, after which he attacked, scoring his second 50 in less than half the time, profiting particularly against Brooks, whom he pulled for six, and Rashid.
However, the leg-spinner had the last word, just after being hit over long-off for six, when he had the South African-born right-hander stumped for 148. It was his third first-class century, surpassing his previous best of 129 last September.
On a pitch that flattened out in the sunshine, the disappointments for Durham, Kangakkara apart, were Paul Collingwood and Phil Mustard, both out to shots of premature expansiveness, but Yorkshire still need to take 12 wickets to win the match.
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food