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Page last updated at 17:25 GMT, Wednesday, 10 September 2008 18:25 UK

Harmison haul puts Durham on top

COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP, Division One, Taunton, day two (close):
Somerset 224 v Durham 45-1

Justin Langer
Langer loses his off bail after an inside edge driving at Thorp

England paceman Steve Harmison picked up 5-84 as Durham took charge on day two and closed 179 behind on 45-1.

Big two Marcus Trescothick and Justin Langer shared 45 but both were ousted within four overs, Trescothick given a torrid time by the hostile Harmison.

He top-edged a six but fell at third slip next ball, before Langer inside edged Callum Thorp onto his stumps.

Zander de Bruyn hit 11 fours in 77 but was run-out attempting a third leg-bye as Somerset were dismissed for 224.

Harmison's return was timely after the first day of the crunch contest between two title contenders was lost to rain, and took his first-class wicket haul for the season to 53.

Langer chose to bat but might have fallen to the first ball of the match, as Harmison got his radar right immediately and struck him on the knee roll, but the appeal was turned down.

Trescothick made 18 but had an uncomfortable hour at the crease.

He edged Thorp short of second slip, is-hit a cut off Harmison that looped over mid-off and was fortunate when a steepling ball from Harmison caught the shoulder of the bat and flew over the wicketkeeper.

After his top-edged six he was smartly caught by Thorp moving to his left at third slip.

Langer survived a straightforward chance when 27 as keeper Phil Mustard spilled a catch off Thorp but after adding four more runs he attempted a drive and the ball ricocheted into the timbers.

Harmison also accouted for Hildreth, who jabbed hesitantly after lunch and got an inside egde onto off-stump.

The wickets continued to fall, Wes Durston made an ill-advised charge against spinner Paul Wiseman and Ian Blackwell pushed at one defensively from Ben Harmison round the wicket.

Harmison junior then produced the throw from fine-leg that saw De Bruyn comfortably short of his ground.

Brother Steve, seven years Ben's senior, finished the innings in fine style with a yorker to bowl Peter Trego.

Charl Willoughby produced a fine delivery to Durham opener Mark Stoneman which was edged to first slip, but it was the visitors who will be the happier side at the halfway stage.

Harmison revealed that before he returned to one-day international cricket this summer he insisted to the England hierarchy that he should be allowed to continue playing for his county.

"When I made the decision to come out of retirement, of all the stipulations made speaking to Kevin (Pietersen) and the coach, the biggest one was not leaving Durham in the lurch because I was playing for England," he said.

"I came back from playing for England in New Zealand in a low state of confidence earlier this year and the reason I am playing for England again is because of what I have done for Durham.

"I agreed I would do it if the day after the last England match in Cardiff I could continue playing for Durham."

see also
Vital Taunton contest rained off
09 Sep 08 |  Counties
Somerset switched on despite rain
10 Sep 08 |  Somerset

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