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    Durham requires another day of perseverance as Rob Yates unravels their resistance
Durham requires another day of perseverance as Rob Yates unravels their resistance
Ben Raine hit an aggressive 93 but couldn't save the follow-on. Source: Getty Images

Durham requires another day of perseverance as Rob Yates unravels their resistance

Durham displayed a determined defensive effort against Warwickshire on the third day of their Vitality County Championship match at Edgbaston. However, they will need to repeat this performance tomorrow.

To avoid the follow-on, Scott Borthwick's team faced a daunting target of 549 and was eventually dismissed for 517. Alex Lees scored 145 runs off 240 balls, Ben Raine scored 93 runs off 125 balls, Graham Clark scored 76 runs off 179 balls, Ollie Robinson scored 60 runs off 91 balls, and Matt Potts scored 44 runs off 40 balls. Despite their efforts, Warwickshire's depleted attack, led by off-spinner Rob Yates' career-best four for 137, kept paring away.

Durham, trailing by 181 runs on the first innings, closed day three on 12 for two and need to bat out day four to prevent Warwickshire's second-highest ever total of 698 for three from resulting in a victory.

It should be achievable for visitors to play on a pitch that has only seen 15 wickets fall in three days. The first two innings included a total of 10 individual three-figure scores, four with the bat and six with the ball.

Durham resumed on the third morning at 178 for three, and the pattern of batting control immediately resumed. Lees and Robinson extended their partnership to 99, with the former reaching his 24th first-class century from 185 balls. Robinson hit Olly Hannon-Dalby for a six over mid-wicket on his way to scoring a half-century in 82 balls. He then mistimed a shot and was caught at extra cover by Danny Briggs.

With Chris Rushworth receiving treatment for a calf niggle off the field, the new ball was handed to Will Rhodes, who soon bowled a delivery that nipped inside and hit off stump as Alex Lees attempted a drive. Brydon Carse then carelessly spooned a catch to long leg off the bowling of Ed Barnard, leaving Durham at 331 for six, still 217 runs away from avoiding the follow-on. However, Matty Potts and Ben Raine steadied the innings with a partnership of 122 runs in 33 overs, taking valuable time out of the game.

Yates turned sharply past Clark's attempted paddle to leg, resulting in an lbw decision. Raine continued to prosper on familiar territory. Six years ago, as a Leicestershire player in a Blast fixture at Edgbaston, he smashed 113 runs, 108 of which came in fours and sixes. This time, he hit five sixes and eight fours but then left the door ajar for Warwickshire when he was bowled behind his legs by Yates.

This was Yates' first three-for in first-class cricket. Three balls later, he had taken four wickets after smartly catching a low return from Callum Parkinson. Durham was still 32 runs short of the follow-on when Potts skied Dan Mousley to deep mid-wicket where Yates took the catch.

Hannon-Dalby quickly removed one of the biggest obstacles to a Warwickshire win by luring first-innings century-maker Lees into a loose drive, resulting in an edge to wicketkeeper Michael Burgess.  Yates, who had already taken five wickets and scored 191 runs in the match, claimed his sixth by having Borthwick caught behind.

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