Durham beat Gloucestershire by nine wickets

12 July 2023

Durham wrapped up a dominant nine-wicket victory over Gloucestershire inside three days to edge themselves further towards promotion from Division Two in the LV= Insurance County Championship.

The hosts began day three needing 17 to secure maximum batting points and Matthew Potts duly obliged with the bat before he blew the game open with the new Kookaburra ball. The England seamer claimed figures of four for 24 in his six-over burst dismantling the Gloucestershire top order.

Miles Hammond prevented an innings' defeat with a defiant knock of 86, but Matt Parkinson and Brydon Carse claimed two wickets apiece to clean up the tail, leaving Durham to chase only 52. The hosts eased over the line within 12 overs to extend their lead at the top of Division Two with five games remaining after claiming 24 points from the contest.

Resuming on day three on 433 for seven and Carse unbeaten on 60, Durham looked to press on and reach the 17 runs required to secure maximum batting points for the fifth time of the campaign.

But, Matt Taylor ended Carse's knock to claim his 200th first-class wicket after the Durham all-rounder added only two runs to his overnight score. Two boundaries from Potts saw the hosts over the 450-mark before he was caught on the fence to hand Dominic Goodman his fourth wicket, finishing with career-best figures.

After rain forced an early lunch, Potts turned the screw with a devastating new-ball spell to demolish the Gloucestershire top order.

Having been overlooked by the England selectors for the 4th Ashes Test, Potts continued his devastating Championship form as he bowled Ben Charlesworth, Ollie Price and Chris Dent with outstanding deliveries, removing the top three for single-figure scores, reducing the visitors to 10 for three.

Grant Roelofsen soon followed with an outside edge to present Potts with a fourth wicket, while at the other end, Hammond was given a reprieve when he was dropped at slip on six. Hammond and James Bracey offered resistance against the new ball to prevent Potts surging through the line-up.

The backbone of the Gloucestershire line-up was broken when Bracey chased a wide one from Migael Pretorius to end the stand for 39. Zafar Gohar survived a couple of close calls against Matt Parkinson, but then gave his wicket away attempting to launch a slog-sweep that only ended up in the grasp of Carse.

Hammond held up the Durham victory charge with a defiant knock of 86, scoring his second fifty of the game. He shared a partnership worth 62 with Taylor to prevent an innings defeat for the visitors. Taylor frustrated the Durham attack for almost an hour, keeping Potts and Carse at bay. But, Raine's return broke the stand removing Taylor for 22 before Hammond was caught on the leg-side pushing for his century, falling 14 runs shy, leaving Durham requiring only 52 to register their fifth win of the campaign.

Alex Lees was the only man to fall in the chase when he was bowled by Gohar for 22. Scott Borthwick and Michael Jones were there at the end to secure the win within 12 overs, taking maximum points in the process.

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