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18 Jan 2022
Riding on the unbeaten half-century knock of Ned Eckersley (57* off 127), Durham went on to post 256 for 5 at the end of the first day's play to keep themselves in the driving seat against the top-placed Middlesex.
Durham lost the toss and was invited to bat first. They got a decent start as their openers Alex Lees (44 off 99) and Michael Alexander Jones (37 off 97) shared an 81 runs partnership for the first wicket before Lees was trapped LBW by Roland-Jones just before the lunch.
Alexander Jones then kept the scoreboard running when Keegan Petersen joined him in the middle. However, they couldn't make the partnership last long as an absolute beauty by Murtagh found the inside edge of Jones' bat that saw him walking back to the pavilion for the score of 37.
Petersen was holding an end from one side as skipper Scott Borthwick (15 off 31) and stylish all-rounder Ben Stokes (15 off 19) departed after playing short cameos. The South Africa batter slowly entered the 40-run mark but fell two runs short of 50 as Roland-Jones bowled a beauty to get rid of Petersen.
Ned Eckersley and Liam Trevaskis then joined hands to help Durham reach the 250-runs mark before the end of the day's play. Luke Hollman and T Ronald Jones claimed two wickets each from the bowling side, while T Murtagh finished with one in his kitty.
Heading into the second day, Durham batters will aim to steady the ship and get a massive score on the board, while Middlesex bowlers will look for quick wickets to wrap up the innings.
Durham 1st Inning: 256 for 5
Eckersley (57* off 127), Keegan Petersen (48 off 123);
T Ronald Jones (2-40), Luke Hollman (2-49)