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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
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

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project