Will Smith comes good for Durham but Stuart Broad forced to go off again

Nottinghamshire 320 Durham 297-6

Trent Bridge

It is fair to say that a Will Smith innings does not tend to have spectators perched on the edge of their seats in anticipation of an explosive spectacle, but those with Durham's interests at heart in Nottingham had only appreciation for the way the county's former captain grafted his way to the 14th first-class hundred of his career.

The innings provided the bedrock for a competitive reply to Nottinghamshire's 320 that seemed improbable when the loss of Dale Benkenstein and Ben Stokes left them five down for 148. In the event, they have a chance to develop a small lead in a match in which the first objective, after the disappointment of losing to Yorkshire last week, was to avoid defeat.

Again, there were concerns over the fitness of Stuart Broad, who bowled 18 overs in the day and seemed untroubled by the blow he took in the groin batting on Monday. However, he left the field again before the close, complaining of more discomfort.

Smith has endured difficult times in the last few seasons and he would draw satisfaction from a hundred on this ground for a number of reasons, among them the fact that he never managed one in five seasons as a Notts player. It was at Trent Bridge, too, that he played his last match as Durham captain in 2010, his own form and the team's at a low ebb.

After a long period out of the front line, Smith's fortunes picked up in 2011, but last season, again, he struggled for runs. Apart from a century against Somerset in May last year, the right-hander did not reach fifty again and was dropped for the last two matches.

So if he adopts a particularly cautious approach to his batting these days it is understandable. It took him not far short of six hours to makes this hundred and his 13 boundaries were rare distractions from the long passages of head-down application in between.

Yet after some careless moments earlier in the day, costing the wickets of the nightwatchman, Chris Rushworth, and Scott Borthwick, plus the loss of a dangerous-looking Benkenstein to a nip-backer from Steven Mullaney, Smith's obduracy saved the day, more so given that Stokes managed to get himself caught off a leading edge when Broad got him into a tangle.

Broad had looked in good fettle. He bowled 18 overs for 45 runs, his last meaningful contribution being to remove Paul Collingwood, his predecessor as England's Twenty20 captain, who was drawn into an edge outside off stump for a valuable 64 in a stand of 115 with Smith. His county and England will hope the problem is minor.

Graeme Swann had a decent work-out on his return to competitive bowling after elbow surgery, although there will be a wait to see if any reaction follows his 20 overs. Swann had some swelling two weeks ago, which was put down to pushing too hard to be ready ahead of schedule.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Lizards, such as Iguanas (pictured), have a unique pattern of tissue growth
Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tvReview: Bread-making skills of the Bake Off hopefuls put to the test
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home