Ben Stokes and David Bedingham Shine as Durham Holds Edge Against Somerset: County 2024

Ben Stokes and David Bedingham steered Durham to a promising position despite a spirited fightback from Somerset in a captivating County Championship encounter between Durham and Somerset.

The England captain’s four wickets and the batter’s undefeated century give the hosts a slim advantage.

Ben Stokes and David Bedingham Shine as Durham Holds Edge Against Somerset: County 2024

Somerset 171 (Pretorius 53, Stokes 4-54, Siddle 3-27) is trailing Durham 177 for 6 (Bedingham 100*, Robinson 46, Ball 3-41) by six runs.

Despite brilliant performances from Ben Stokes and David Bedingham, Somerset’s late comeback left their Vitality County Championship match against Durham perfectly poised.

On the first day at an overcast Seat Unique Riverside, Bedingham led Durham’s reply with an undefeated century after Stokes took four wickets to limit Somerset to 171 all out in their first innings.

Somerset had their backs to the wall for the majority of the day after being placed on a grassy pitch; nevertheless, Migael Pretorius, who was later substituted by Jake Ball owing to a concussion, reached his second fifty of the year, while Craig Overton had the hosts struggling at 19 for three.

Although Ball claimed three late wickets, including those of Ollie Robinson and Stokes, Bedingham scored a century shortly before the end, leaving Durham with 177 for 6, six runs ahead with four wickets remaining.

Durham captain Scott Borthwick made the right decision to bowl first, as Ben Raine removed Tom Abell’s scalp for four runs in the opening over with a delivery that nicked the top of the off-stump.

Then, with three fours off a Paul Coughlin over, Tom Lammonby began to regain his rhythm after being limited to run-scoring rations by Raine at the other end.

Renshaw, an Australian international, was tenacious in defense at the other end, scoring just five runs from 39 balls before Robinson caught him behind, giving Stokes his first wicket of the match.

The left-hander Lammonby was Stokes’ second victim. He was trying to cut one, but extra bounce tricked him, and he lost to the steady Robinson for 22.

Siddle made his home debut after just five balls when Andy Umeed was forced to drop a ball at second slip for nine.
James Rew and Banton batted together well when they arrived to the crease, but Raine gained his second wicket of the day at the stroke of lunch when Rew was out LBW for 13 after padding up to a plumb one.

Somerset’s luck did not improve after the lunch break, as Siddle removed Gregory and Craig Overton in the first over after the break with two wickets in two balls, while Pretorius successfully defended the hat-trick ball.

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Banton was well-supported by Pretorius as they shared a partnership of 35 runs, but Raine ended Banton’s resistance when he chipped a ball straight to mid-wicket for his third wicket.

Josh Davey was out for ten runs as Stokes got his third of the day, which encouraged Pretorius to attack and complete his half-century.

Pretorius played brilliantly for his fifty, but the South African did not survive long as he edged a Stokes delivery to second slip to conclude the Somerset innings, despite wickets falling at the other end.

Pretorius gave Banton plenty of assistance during their 35-run partnership, but Raine broke Banton’s back when he chipped a ball straight to mid-wicket for his third wicket.

After Stokes reached his third century of the day and dismissed Josh Davey for 10 runs, Pretorius launched an attack to finish with a half-century.

Despite wickets falling at the other end, Pretorius played well for his fifty, but the South African did not last long as he edged a Stokes delivery to second slip to close the Somerset innings.

As the clock ticked over and they passed 100, the potent combination of Bedingham and Robinson chose to attack on the wicket that was favourable to bowlers. Together, the two skillfully reduced Somerset’s score, with Bedingham reaching his half-century from 60 balls by hitting a Jack Leach delivery for six down the ground.

Robinson, unlike his partner, was unable to reach the half-century milestone when he was dismissed by Ball for 46, forcing Stokes to take over at the crease.

After Ball removed him leg before wicket, the England Test captain left for a duck. Ball then struck again to remove Graham Clark for one.
Bedingham scored his fourth straight century in the County Championship from 103 balls shortly before the end, giving Durham the advantage over Somerset heading into the second day.

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