With just one Sunday League victory to show for their efforts on all fronts, it would have been something of a shock had Durham opened their Championship account against Warwickshire, notwithstanding the home side's own patchy form. An authoritative century by Wasim Khan ensured that that particular scenario remains in the realms of the highly unlikely.
Simon Brown - perhaps the latest addition to England's squad of one-cap wonders - and David Cox, who between them had taken eight wickets in the first innings, were unable to stem the steady flow of runs from the Warwickshire batsmen second time around.
As has so often been the case, it was Andy Moles who erected the platform for victory. While he may not always be the most watchable of batsmen, he is usually one of the most watchful, and his innings of 74 this time was no exception.
Resuming on 63 without loss, Moles and Michael Powell, making a promising first-class debut, took their opening stand to 81 before Powell played on to Brown for 32. Wasim, who had thus far failed to build on an encouraging first season last year, then joined Moles and immediately put bat to ball, impressively crashing Cox straight down the ground for four and six in successive balls.
Cox, however, struck back with the wickets of Moles and Dominic Ostler, who added only six after the 86 he made on Thursday. Trevor Penney followed soon after, flicking off his legs to the wicketkeeper to give John Wood only his second wicket of the match.
Wasim carried on regardless, putting on 75 with Shaun Pollock and 74 with Dougie Brown before he was eventually stumped off Cox for 130, having hit 14 fours in addition to the six. By that time poor Durham were once again in the depths of despair.
Warwickshire declared at tea, leaving Durham to chase a formidable 413 for victory. Sherwin Campbell did not last long, trapped lbw by Tim Munton, and there was just time for Jimmy Daley to offer Ostler a catch off Ashley Giles before the rain that had threatened all day finally descended.Reuse content