Durham left praying for rain at Somerset

Mark Stoneman
Mark Stoneman

DURHAM head coach Jon Lewis admits his side have given themselves a big ask if they are to maintain their 100 per cent County Championship record.

The champions remain unbeaten so far in the four-day campaign, but look to be staring down the barrel against Somerset at Taunton.

The hosts finished day three on 112 without loss, chasing a target of 248 to win, and Lewis says he always felt his side could have done with some more runs on the board.

“I was reasonably pleased with how we batted, but I wouldn’t say I was overjoyed. I thought we were going to need more than we got,” he said.

“I though 240/250 kept us in the game, but they got off to a good start, and we probably haven’t been quite good enough.

“We’d clawed our way back into the game after a first day performance that was moderate at best, but I wanted 300 on the board to be honest.”

Lewis was pleased with Michael Richardson’s century, and the partnership he had shared with Mark Stoneman, who fell three runs short of his ton.

But Lewis felt his side need more than just one pairing to deliver.

He added: “We needed two partnerships. We were never going to get the lead we wanted, having come back from a first innings deficit of 81 with just one partnership.

“We had one partnership which was excellent, but we needed another to apply some pressure.”

Craig Overton was the pick of the home side’s bowling, taking 5-63 as Durham were 326 all out in their second innings.

A career-best 46 from Chris Rushworth, and Scott Borthwick who batted through the pain barrier with a broken finger helped them to reach that total.

Borthwick’s injury will rule him out of bowling on what is likely to be a turning pitch today.

And the spinner could spend some time on the sidelines with the damaged finger, although Durham are hoping it won’t be a lengthy spell.

Somerset didn’t take long to get into their stride in their second innings, as Marcus Trescothick, and Johann Myburgh set about the target with relish.

Trescothick cracked 11 boundaries and Myburgh seven in the final session as Somerset left themselves needing just another 136 to win.

There was some good news for Durham, albeit not at Taunton.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes was in both the runs and the wickets for Durham seconds as he continues his comeback from a wrist injury.

Lewis added: “He (Stokes) has had six or seven knocks now for the seconds, and he has made contributions in almost all of them, which great for him and great for us.

“He’s picked up some wickets yesterday, and is coming off his full run now, which is encouraging.

“And looking at the tired bowlers we have at the minute, it’s even more encouraging.”