Durham Take Control At Chester-Le-Street

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Steve Harmison hinted at a return to form when he took the last four wickets as Hampshire were bowled out for 105 when LV County Championship action resumed at Chester-le-Street.

Steve Harmison hinted at a return to form when he took the last four wickets as Hampshire were bowled out for 105 when LV County Championship action resumed at Chester-le-Street.
Following heavy rain it looked a good toss for Durham skipper Will Smith to win and, as the best conditions of the day arrived in the evening he helped his side to close on 84 for two with a chance of a big first-innings lead.
Following a 12.15 start Harmison's radar was off beam in his opening spell. But he improved after Dominic Cork donated his first wicket by edging a drive to second slip.
Harmison finished with four for 43, but Graham Onions looked far more threatening at the start as he resumed where he left off before the Twenty20 interlude by taking three of the first four wickets.
In an excellent 13-over spell broken by lunch, Onions took three for 19 and he later bowled six more overs for three runs.
Mitch Claydon struck with his first two balls, underlining the strength of the champions' bowling as Liam Plunkett and Mark Davies will soon be fit to return.
Only skipper Nic Pothas put up prolonged resistance for Hampshire, making 35 before he was last out, caught at gully.
Onions thought he had him caught behind before he had scored, but for the third time in the day he had an impassioned appeal turned down by umpire Richard Illingworth.
Onions struck with the sixth ball when left-hander Michael Carberry shaped to pull and somehow edged to second slip, where Gordon Muchall held the catch.
Callum Thorp had Jimmy Adams caught at gully by Harmison before Onions twice found the edge to remove John Crawley and Sean Ervine.
Muchall knocked the ball up at third slip for Michael Di Venuto to complete the catch at second to see off Crawley, while Ervine fenced tamely at a short ball to give Phil Mustard a catch.
That made it 26 for four, but Pothas advanced the total to 59 with Michael Lumb before Claydon came on. Formerly known for banging the ball in short of a length to no avail, the 6ft 4in Sydney-born seamer began with two yorkers.
The first hit Lumb on the foot to have him lbw for 20, and the second rattled Liam Dawson's off stump.
Cork played the hat-trick ball through mid-wicket for two and put on 29 with Pothas before edging to Di Venuto, then without addition Imran Tahir was bowled by Harmison.
With his accuracy steadily improving, Harmison found the shoulder of David Griffiths bat, the ball lobbing to gully.
The day's fourth and fifth gully catches accounted for Pothas and Di Venuto, who was well taken low down by Crawley off left-armer James Tomlinson.
Durham's left-handed opener Mark Stoneman dominated a second-wicket stand of 68 with Smith before he fell to leg-spinner Tahir for 44, while the captain remained unbeaten on 21.

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