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Page last updated at 17:33 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 18:33 UK

Benkenstein leads Durham recovery

CLOSE OF PLAY, DAY ONE: Durham 257-5
(Durham 2pts, Notts 1pt)
15 - 18 July 2009

Dale Benkenstein
Benkenstein struck 15 fours and one six in his 235-ball 105 at Trent Bridge

Dale Benkenstein hit a century as Durham recovered to take the initiative after day one of their clash with Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

The champions looked to be in trouble after being reduced to 63-3.

But former captain Benkenstein (105) and current skipper Will Smith (87) put on 193 for the fourth wicket - a record against Notts - as Durham fought back.

Both were dismissed by Mark Ealham just before stumps as Durham reached the close on 257-5.

Durham began the game top of the Championship and 25 points ahead of third-placed Notts.

And the home side looked intent on cutting that advantage after asking the visitors to bat.


Ryan Sidebottom made the breakthrough in the 12th over when he trapped Michael Di Venuto leg before.

All-rounder Andre Adams then caught Mark Stoneman off his own bowling and had Gordan Muchall caught behind off an inside edge as Durham slumped to 63-3.

But Benkenstein and Smith showed good concentration and patience in their record stand which saw the momentum swing back in Durham's favour.

Benkenstein went to his century - his third of the season - off 223 balls, with his 14th boundary, while Smith's 87 was his highest Championship score of the season against his former county.

Both were removed by Ealham in the space of five balls just before the close to give Notts a boost.

The veteran all-rounder first beat Benkenstein's defences with an off-cutter, before finding Smith's edge with the final ball of the day.

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