Nottinghamshire beat Durham despite Ben Stokes ton
LV COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE, Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 559-8 dec beat Durham 218 and 279 by an innings and 62 runs Nottinghamshire 24 pts, Durham 3 pts Match scorecard
Stokes' previous first-class best was 51 against the MCC in Dubai in March
Ben Stokes' maiden first-class century proved in vain at Trent Bridge as Durham slumped to their first County Championship defeat since August 2008.
Stokes hit 106, featuring in a seventh-wicket stand of 70 with Phil Mustard.
But Darren Pattinson took 4-95, backed by Paul Franks and Steve Mullaney, as Nottinghamshire bowled the visitors out for 279 to win by an innings & 62 runs.
A fourth straight win was enough to take Notts top of Division One, overtaking early leaders Yorkshire.
Resuming at 87-4, Durham knew they needed to effectively bat all day.
But, despite the noble efforts of teenager Stokes and a short break for rain, their fate was sealed just after tea.
Playing in only his fifth first-class match, England Under-19 international Stokes struck three sixes and 16 fours on his way to 106 from 126 balls to become Durham's second-youngest centurion in the Championship.
The 18-year-old all-rounder eventually fell to Paul Franks, while it was Pattinson who wrapped up Nott's fourth straight victory - their best start to a season since 1922.
With Durham's top four already back in the pavilion at the start of play, the visitors always faced an uphill task to avoid defeat. And their chances became slimmer after only four overs when Ian Blackwell drove loosely at Pattinson and succeeded only in looping a catch to mid-on.
Nightwatchman Chris Rushworth fell in the next over before Stokes and Mustard rallied the cause.
But wicketkeeper Mustard fell to a brilliant leg-side stumping by opposite number Chris Read off the medium-pace of Mullaney.
Stokes had played some attractive drives either side of the wicket and was the dominant scorer in a partnership of 87 with Ben Harmison.
He demonstrated his precocious confidence by reaching his century in emphatic fashion, hitting Samit Patel for four, six, six, four in four consecutive balls before adrenalin got the better of him, as a pull shot off Franks fell to Mullaney at deep square leg.
With his wicket went any remaining hopes of a draw, as Notts were able to take the new ball immediately, Franks producing a swinging delivery to have Liam Plunkett caught at second slip in the next over.
Two brief rain interruptions only served to delay the Notts win, Pattinson demolishing Ben Harmison's stumps two balls after tea to earn Notts an eight-point lead over Yorkshire at the top - and with a game in hand too.
Durham are already 55 points adrift - and their hold on the trophy they have lifted for the past two summers is already slipping.
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