Durham dusted

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Yorkshire 335 and 210

Durham 215 and 186

Yorkshire won by 144 runs

POOR Durham are in deeper trouble than they thought. The awful suspicion that they cannot bat or bowl and may be able to field only a little was bad enough, but now they find the cricketing fates are conspiring against them.

Setting off in forlorn pursuit of 331 to beat Yorkshire at the Riverside Ground yesterday, they must have known that it was a target which was much too distant to achieve. All they could do was go out and fight to the death, hoping that rain might save them from further despair and prevent Yorkshire, potential champions, from claiming their second Championship victory.

Within 20 overs, everything was in tatters. Sherwin Campbell, their attractive West Indian batsman who must be wondering what he has let himself in for, had no sooner shared in the highest opening partnership of the match (11) than he was out. The ball from Peter Hartley which did for him would probably have accounted for anybody. It jagged back and kept so horrendously low that a JCB would have had severe trouble digging it out.

Four overs later, the Durham captain, Mike Roseberry, drove at Hartley, who stuck out a hand from which the ball rebounded on to the stumps at the non- striker's end. John Morris, one of the few members of his side to be in anything like form, stared in disbelief as the realisation dawned on him that he was out of his ground.

The cause was already lost. Roseberry was still in but square-on, hunched up and hopelessly out of touch. Shortly after lunch Jimmy Daley was struck on a finger and was presently forced to depart, the digit found subsequently to be broken. Jon Longley lasted two balls, the first of which he turned for four, the second of which bowled him as he stretched forward.

That was 49 for three, in effect four, and the pitch, in its second season, was not helping at all. The bounce stayed desperately uneven. Roseberry batted gamely on but if his assurance grew it was impossible to be properly ensconced and it was no surprise when he was pouched at slip. Wickets fell steadily afterwards and Durham did not subside. Amid their gloom shone Paul Collingwood, 19, who assembled a highly composed 48 and deserved a half-century.

In the morning, Melvyn Betts combined genuine menace with irritating waywardness and improved his career-best bowling figures for the third successive match while taking five wickets for the first time. But Yorkshire, a good side if not the finished article, already had too many and Durham perhaps still need to make their own luck.