'Pleasing day' as Leicestershire dig in against Durham

By Simon Sinclair

By Duncan Browne
Saturday, 16th April 2022, 8:07 am
Updated Saturday, 16th April 2022, 8:53 am
Leicestershire bowler Beuran Hendricks in bowling action as Durham batsman David Bedingham looks on during day two of the LV= Insurance County Championship match between Durham and Leicestershire at The Riverside in Chester-le-Street, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Leicestershire bowler Beuran Hendricks in bowling action as Durham batsman David Bedingham looks on during day two of the LV= Insurance County Championship match between Durham and Leicestershire at The Riverside in Chester-le-Street, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Coach Paul Nixon called it a 'pleasing day' as Leicestershire dug in on day two of their LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two clash against Durham at the Riverside after the home posted 428 in their first innings.

David Bedingham's brilliant knock of 191 was the foundation of a strong first-innings total from the North-East outfit, while Ben Raine added a useful 51 not out.

The visitors had work to do in response, and although it was slow going, half-centuries from Hassan Azad and Colin Ackermann defied the Durham bowlers with a stout defence in an unbroken partnership of 107 for the third wicket.

Leicestershire coach Paul Nixon during the warm up before day two of the LV= Insurance County Championship match between Durham and Leicestershire at The Riverside in Chester-le-Street, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

However, Leicestershire still trail the home side by 269 runs with eight wickets remaining in their first innings heading into day three.

“It was a pleasing day," Nixon said.

"We started well, which was so important.

"David Bedingham was playing beautifully and he could have taken the game properly away from us.

"I was delighted for Beuran (Hendricks) to get his wicket because he worked so hard without much luck and it was massive for us.

"Hassan Azad and Colin Ackerman applied themselves brilliantly.

"We built nicely and it was a cracking partnership.

"We have to do the same thing in the morning, and keep repeating those basics.

"It’s a good pitch, there are no demons in it.

"Hassan has worked hard and is making the game look more simple. I’m delighted the hard work is paying off for him.”

Resuming on 356 for six, there was an air of ante-climax as Bedingham was only able to add seven runs to his overnight total, falling frustratingly short of a double-century.

A delivery from Beuran Hendricks stuck in the wicket, prompting a loose straight drive that the left-arm bowler claimed with ease.

Raine and Matthew Potts attempted to guide Durham towards maximum batting points, but Ackermann delivered four-straight dot balls in the 110th over to deny Raine the two runs the hosts required.

Durham continued their innings towards the lunch break with Raine and Potts combining for a stand of 61 for the eighth wicket, which was only undone by a sharp Will Davis delivery that kept low to remove Potts for 23.

Raine grinded his way to his 13th first-class fifty to further frustrate his former club, but was left stranded as Oliver Gibson and Chris Rushworth were the final two wickets to fall in the Durham innings albeit with a competitive total of 428.

Leicestershire openers Azad and Sam Evans blunted the home side's new-ball attack as Rushworth, Potts and Raine were held in check.

Azad, following his century against Worcestershire in the first week of the campaign, was measured in his approach and nullified the opening burst without issue.

The home side were forced to be patient for the breakthrough, which eventually came through Raine as he found seam movement off the pitch to find Evans' outside edge to allow Scott Borthwick to claim a routine catch at second slip. Rushworth prised out George Rhodes as Borthwick collected his second catch of the day, but Ackermann would provide a huge obstacle for Durham bowlers to overcome in the evening session as the Riverside pitch flattened out.

The Leicestershire captain combined with Azad to thwart the hosts with a fifty partnership, displaying great control and poise at the crease. A rare mistake by Ackermann on 34 was not punished by Ned Eckersley behind the stumps, who put down a catch on the leg-side off Potts.

Azad was rewarded for his resilience with a half-century, nurdling a Liam Trevaskis delivery into the leg-side to reach the milestone from 161 balls.

Ackermann followed his team-mate past fifty to bounce back from a disappointing return against Worcestershire to leave his side well in the contest at the close after reaching the century stand for the third wicket.