Surrey 220 Durham 259-5: Mustard adds flavour to Smith's resilience

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The Independent Online

It was not exactly a feast of cricket, although Mustard did get smeared all over "Pasty" at one stage, but Will Smith's industry and patience helped Durham to nose ahead on a slow day.

Smith scored a hundred, his second in the Championship this season, and surprisingly, given his application and sound technique, only the fifth of his career. It spanned four and a half hours yesterday, but in all he has dominated the Surrey bowling for more than five hours. His innings, though slow, has contained some fine shots.

He arrived at three figures off 215 balls, from which he had hit 13 boundaries, and until Phil Mustard arrived at the crease in mid-afternoon Smith had been the rock around which Durham's first innings had been built.

By the time bad light drove them off with 10 overs remaining – they had lost nine overs to rain in the morning – he and Mustard's unbroken partnership of 131 was slowly approaching the record stand for the sixth wicket against Surrey on this ground, set by England coach Peter Moores and Bill Athey, when they put on 164 for Sussex at Woodbridge Road in 1996.

Mustard's innings was not without incident, the most notable of which was his collision with the hastily back-pedalling umpire "Pasty" Harris when dashing to the non-striker's end for a quick single. The batsman ended up flat on his back, Harris was unharmed.

Mustard also got the fielders' pulses racing on a couple of occasions, once on 13, and again on 31, when big, high hits fell tantalisingly short of despairing attempts to catch them. His survival both times meant that for the second time this season Mustard passed 50 against these opponents, and the way this batsman and the pitch are playing he should reach three figures some time today.

Surrey did pick up two wickets, those of Dale Benkenstein early on, and Ben Harmison after lunch, but Smith and Mustard resisted for the rest of the day.