Durham 75 for 0 (Lees 53*) trail Glamorgan154 by 79 runs
After they were dismissed for 88 and 85 in their previous championship game at Hove, Glamorgan’s batting woes continued at Sophia Gardens on the opening day of their game against Durham. They were dismissed for 154 from 49 .1 overs with tail ender Rory Smith top scoring with 36.
Durham had no problems when they batted, with Alex Lees, who has left Yorkshire and signed a three year contract with his adopted county, leading the way to a chanceless half century. The visitors were 75 for 0 at the close, and trailing by 79 with all their wickets intact.
Glamorgan were undone by the visitors’ pace attack, with Chris Rushworth and new signing Matt Salisbury sharing six wickets, as the batsmen struggled in overcast conditions.
Nineteen overs were lost at the start of the day due to a persistent drizzle, and after Paul Collingwood had no hesitation in bowling first after an uncontested toss, Glamorgan were soon losing wickets against an accurate visitors pace attack.
Jack Murphy was the first to go when, after scoring the opening 17 runs of the innings he was well caught low down at third slip off Rushworth, and after Connor Brown and Nick Selman- who had laboured for 26 balls and 46 minutes over his two runs- were out, Glamorgan were 26 for 3 at lunch.
Salisbury, who was initially on a loan deal with Durham before signing a contract until 2020, has also played for Essex and Hampshire, and was the pick of the seamers, ending with 3 for 34 from 13 accurate overs.
Kiran Carlson and David Lloyd resisted for 16 overs as they shared a partnership of 51 for the fourth wicket, before Carlson, shouldering arms to Salisbury, was bowled off stump. After Chris Cooke went for a duck, also deceived by Salisbury, much depended on Lloyd , but when Collingwood appeared with his cutters, the former England all rounder induced Lloyd to give him a return catch.
Smith played an useful knock towards the end, but after Rushworth had dismissed him , Durham’s latest overseas signing, the Indian spinner Axar Patel, ended the innings by taking the final two wickets in nineteen balls.
Durham had 28 overs left to bat, and although conditions might have eased, Cameron Steel and Alex Lees set off purposefully, and were seldom in any trouble against the Glamorgan pace attack. Lees was the dominant partner, driving elegantly through the offside and racing ahead of his partner.
Lees reached his half century from 53 balls out of 59, which included a large proportion of boundaries -eleven-, but shortly afterwards the light deteriorated and play was called off for the day with eight overs remaining.