Sangakkara flops on debut but Durham still fight back

Yorkshire 589-8, Durham 361-8: Stoneman 131, Richardson 148

Chester-le-Street

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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
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

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links