Yorkshire fail to land knockout blow as defiant Keaton Jennings survives testing spells

Yorkshire 589-8 dec Durham 388 & 100-4 (Match drawn)
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The Independent Online

Yorkshire sniffed victory for a while but ultimately the two sides who slugged it out for the Championship last summer could not be separated. Durham, on the floor at tea on the second day, ultimately found the stamina to stay on their feet and take the punches until the final bell.

There were a few questions for Yorkshire to answer. Could they have declared their first innings sooner? Perhaps, although it is easy to judge with hindsight. Could they have bowled better? At times, unquestionably yes, although there were spells, too, that were as testing as Durham will face all season.

Yet credit is due to Durham, who had the collective resilience to bat through seven consecutive sessions, having been asked to follow on, and emerged from a crisis on the final afternoon to maintain their unbeaten start to the season, albeit one that so far contains no wins.

Yorkshire look good enough, on paper at least, to be in contention for the title again, although they are yet to deliver fully convincing evidence. They saw off Northamptonshire easily enough but failing to prevent Middlesex scoring 472 to win at Lord's was a chastening experience, and this one must go down as a missed opportunity.

Durham's key players on the final day were, first of all, Jamie Harrison and Graham Onions, the overnight batsmen, whose 26-over, 45-run stand ensured that play would go into the second hour before Yorkshire took the first of the two wickets they needed to finish the first innings. It was a partnership almost as important as the final act of defiance, between Keaton Jennings and Paul Collingwood.

That one spanned more than two hours, and came in the face of some top-class leg-spin bowling by Adil Rashid, who deserved more than one wicket, and with Yorkshire's tails up as Durham lost four wickets for 42 runs with 42 overs still left in the match.

They had lost Mark Stoneman, unluckily, when Liam Plunkett deflected a Jennings drive on to the stumps at the non-striker's end; Scott Borthwick to a snorter from Jack Brooks that took the glove; Kumar Sangakkara, critically, for just a streaky 14 when he chased a wide ball to second slip; and Michael Richardson – like Stoneman a first-innings centurion – who edged Rashid's first ball. But Collingwood, of course, is a master of gritty resistance.