Durham hopes wilt

Cricket: Hampshire 206 Durham 174-4

A cloudless sky and an easy-paced Portsmouth pitch persuaded Sherwin Campbell to shed his helmet and his long-sleeved sweater yesterday, but his batting steadfastly refused to burst into flower.

Just over a month after scoring a double-century for the West Indies against New Zealand, Campbell has mustered 41 runs in five Championship innings for Durham. He was fortunate to make nine before edging to the wicketkeeper in the 13th over yesterday off the bowling of the Yorkshire reject Stuart Milburn. With Mike Roseberry similarly shackled, Durham were more intent on survival than making up for lost time after the loss of a day and a half to rain had undermined their promising start.

Shortly after lunch on the first day they had Hampshire on 111 for eight, but it was the best part of two days later before the innings folded for 206 after yesterday's 12.30pm start. Although the residual moisture did not help their cause, Durham show- ed little inclination to resurrect the game as they ground their way to 174 for four in 75 overs.

A declaration might have opened up the game, but Dur- ham were content to allow the 22-year-old left-hander Darren Blenkiron the chance to state his case for regular inclusion as he survived an uncertain start to make 69 not out in his first Championship match of the season.

Blenkiron made a match- winning 145 at Swansea during his eight appearances last year, and he punched pugnaciously through the off-side yesterday in reaching 50 off 92 balls before being tied down by the spin of Shaun Udal and Raj Maru.

With Winston Benjamin and James Bovill on their extensive casualty list, Hampshire's attack had a threadbare look. They pulled together the loose ends sufficiently skilfully to thwart any Durham hopes of racing to a healthy lead. Roseberry's demeanour suggested disagreement rather than disappointment when he was adjudged lbw to Kevan James's fifth ball after making 10 in 21 overs.

Aspirations of quick runs were briefly raised by a fluent 35 from John Morris, but they went when he edged a ball from John Stephenson to Maru at first slip.

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