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Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 17:16 UK

Durham remain in control in rain

CLOSE OF PLAY, DAY TWO: Durham 403-7
(Warwicks 2pts, Durham 5pts)
16 - 19 June 2009 (Play begins 1100 BST)

Ian Blackwell
Ian Blackwell is averaging nearly 100 in first-class cricket for his new county

County champions Durham are in a strong position at the end of the second day against Warwickshire at Edgbaston despite the weather taking its toll.

The visitors ended the day on 403-7 after just 21.2 overs were possible.

But, although play was restricted to spells of 50 minutes in the morning and 30 after tea, the visitors will still fancy their chances.

Ian Blackwell's highest score for Durham, 139 not out, has lifted them to an imposing total.

And, on an Edgbaston wicket offering help for all bowlers, which is expected to assist the spinners as it wears, Warwickshire will be hard pressed to maintain their record of posting maximum batting points in every game this season.

Play started on time but just 51 minutes were possible before rain arrived to wash out 46 overs.

Before the stoppage, Blackwell and Mark Stoneman batted capably in the gloom to add 40 to the overnight score of 322-7.

Opening batsman Stoneman, who had retired hurt with a thigh strain on the first morning, had resumed his innings at the fall of the sixth wicket, batting with Gordon Muchall as a runner.

Rain sent the players back to the pavilion and there they stayed until just after tea at 1615 BST.

Resuming his innings for the fourth time, Stoneman pulled Neil Carter for six to reach 50 from 80 balls.

And the seventh wicket was worth 93 in 21 overs when Stoneman lifted Chris Woakes to Boyd Rankin at deep square leg - just before the day's terminal downpour.

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see also
Blackwell ton gives Durham edge
16 Jun 09 |  Counties

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Birmingham Evening Mail Warwickshire left reeling by blistering Steve Harmison - 3 hrs ago
The Times Stephen Harmison rips into Warwickshire - 17 hrs ago
Telegraph Steve Harmison and Ian Bell give selectors Ashes reminder - 18 hrs ago
Sky Sports Harmison hits top form - 23 hrs ago
AOL UK Blackwell leads the way for Durham - 35 hrs ago


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