Ben Stokes Shines as Durham Dominated Somerset with an Innings and 6 Runs Victory

 Ben Stokes led Durham to a decisive victory over Somerset in just five sessions, winning by an innings and six runs in the Vitality County Championship Division One at Chester-le-Street.

With a brilliant match figures of 8 for 77, Stokes is back to his best when it comes to the ball.

Ben Stokes Shines as Durham Dominated Somerset with an Innings and 6 Runs Victory

An innings and six runs separated Somerset 171 (Pretorius 53, Stokes 4-54, Siddle 3-27) and 88 (Stokes 4-23, Raine 3-26) from Durham 265 (Bedingham 101, Robinson 46, Raine 46, Ball 5-62).

In their Vitality County Championship match at the Seat Unique Riverside, Durham defeated Somerset by an innings and six runs in just five sessions with to another masterful performance from Ben Stokes with the ball.

Ben Raine, Peter Siddle, and Paul Coughlin supported Stokes, who amassed figures of 4 for 23, as they toppled a reorganized Somerset batting lineup that was struggling with illness and injuries. Nevertheless, the visitors had the upper hand early in the second day of play.

At one point, the hosts were 199 for 9 thanks to a concussion substitute named Jake Ball, who went on to become a five-wicket hero. However, lower-order runs from the excellent Raine and Siddle helped the hosts reach a total of 265 and take a 94-run lead in the first innings.

This season, Durham’s bowling attack has struggled at times, but here, everyone was playing from the same script, with Stokes emerging as the clear choice among bowlers once more. The all-rounder returned to form with the ball, leading his team to a crucial victory and collecting match figures of eight for 77.

With the victory, Somerset maintains second place in the Vitality County Championship Division One standings, while Durham moves up to fourth. With the match hanging in the balance following an exciting first day, it was imperative for either team to get off to a strong start.

Early on, Somerset had the upper hand as overnight centurion Bedingham lost to James Rew for 101, adding just one to his overnight score, and Ball grabbed his fourth of the innings.

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After taking out Coughlin for two wickets, Craig Overton proceeded to maintain the visitors’ flawless start, and Ball achieved his sixth first-class five-wicket haul with the wicket of Callum Parkinson. With Raine emerging and playing well and Siddle producing hits any No. 11 would be proud of, notably a crushing straight drive for four off Josh Davey’s bowling, Durham rallied through their final two.

After scoring 66 with Siddle, a record tenth-wicket partnership in this match, Raine was the last man to fall to Somerset captain Lewis Gregory for 46. The Australian was declared undefeated on 31.

On a pitch that offered much for the bowlers, the last pair helped Durham reach 265 all out, giving the hosts one batting bonus point and a large first-inning lead.

After the first wicket fell to Ollie Robinson for two, Raine immediately turned his attention to his bowling and dismissed Tom Abell for the second time in the innings. After that, Siddle got in on the action, bowling fellow Australian Matt Renshaw for six runs with a low bouncer to reduce Somerset to 12 for 2.

After lunch, Andy Umeed and Tom Lammonby attempted to steady the ship, but in the opening over of Stokes’ spell, Lammonby was removed for the second time in the match after he feathered a ball behind Robinson.

In his subsequent over, Stokes struck once more, dismissing Umeed for 16 after he edged to Colin Ackermann at second slip. Due to Tom Banton’s illness, Davey was promoted, and he handed Coughlin his first of the game when he edged to Ackermann’s safe hands.

When Rew left for seven after he squeezed one past the trustworthy Robinson, England Test captain Stokes then claimed his third of the afternoon.

With Overton edged past Ackermann to go for six, Stokes kept up his incredible run of form. Raine then carried on with his fine form, getting Gregory leg before wicket for seven, leaving Somerset facing a crushing defeat.

After Banton was deemed too ill to bat, Raine took the last wicket, dismissing Jack Leach for 13, to give Durham their second victory of the year.

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