Bresnan and Ballance put Yorkshire in command

Tim Bresnan
Tim Bresnan
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The absence of five players on England duty could not prevent Yorkshire from strengthening their grip on the second day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Durham at Chester-le-Street.

Two men of recent England vintage, Gary Ballance and Tim Bresnan, carried them to a total of 323 for a first-innings lead of 151, before Bresnan halted Mark Stoneman’s swift start as Durham closed on 98-3.

One of the other men out was Scott Borthwick, whose hopes of a Test place against Pakistan were not enhanced by his second failure of the match.

After running himself out for two in the first innings, he laboured for 22 balls to make four before being bowled by Adam Lyth.

It was left to Keaton Jennings, with an unbeaten 46, to prevent further damage, although he lost Jack Burnham, who took 18 balls to get off the mark and fell lbw for eight to Steven Patterson when he stepped across his stumps.

In the morning the Durham bowlers made a poor start as Ballance, on 35 overnight, and Andrew Gale took 31 off the first four overs.

They continued to prosper until Gale, on 28, took a step down the pitch to off-spinner Ryan Pringle and clipped a catch straight to short midwicket. Ballance, who had eight fours in his 61-ball half-century, suddenly found progress more difficult.

Graham Onions, removed after two overs at the start, returned to knock out Jack Leaning’s middle stump and angled one across Ballance to have him caught at second slip for 78. Chris Rushworth completed a five-wicket haul by nipping one back to have Andrew Hodd lbw, but Bresnan found two useful allies in Josh Shaw and Ben Coad as 87 were added for the last two wickets.

Shaw had a top score of 17 in nine previous first-class innings but looked untroubled in contributing 24 to a stand of 43 before being bowled when he tried to pull a Borthwick long hop.

Despite Bresnan farming the strike, Coad, making his first-class debut, reached 17 before Bresnan fell for 63, caught at deep midwicket.

Durham had 46 on the board in the ninth over when Stoneman drove a return catch to Bresnan. It slammed the brakes on as they added 52 in the remaining 27 overs.