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Alex Lees resists with 99 as Josh Tongue five-for lays marker for Worcestershire

Alex Lees drives through the covers Getty Images

Worcestershire 6 for 0 trail Durham 246 (Lees 99, Tongue 5-39) by 240 runs

Worcestershire's Josh Tongue claimed a five-wicket haul to bowl Durham out for 246 on the opening day of their LV= Insurance County Championship clash at Emirates Riverside.

Tongue was on the mark for the visitors to tear through the Durham middle and lower order with figures of 5 for 39 in his second appearance of the campaign. Alex Lees continued his fine form for the hosts with the bat, falling just short of a deserved century with an innings of 99.

Through Lees' exploits and an unbeaten 38 from Brydon Carse, the home side worked their way to a competitive total. The Worcestershire openers were faced with a tough three-over spell before bad light brought a premature end to the day with the visitors six without loss.

Worcestershire's bowlers found their rhythm after inserting the home side. The Durham openers found life tricky against the new ball and Joe Leach, who was rewarded for a fine opening spell when he pinned Will Young lbw with an inswinger. Charlie Morris maintained the pressure for the visitors and removed Scott Borthwick, who edged to Tom Fell at third slip.

Lees and David Bedingham stemmed the tide and saw the home side through to the lunch interval without further damage at 80 for 2. The two players put on fifty for the third wicket, but a loose Bedingham drive allowed Morris to break the stand. Lees was the only batsman that seemed comfortable, and he manoeuvred his way to his third fifty of the season from 145 balls.

Tongue turned the day in favour of the visitors as he ended a promising partnership between Lees and Jack Burnham, removing the latter lbw for 23 before using a well-aimed bouncer to force Ned Eckersley to play on to his stumps.

Lees accelerated the rate of his innings amid the clatter of wickets at the opposite end. He surged his way into the nineties with a fine array of strokes, but was agonisingly caught behind from a wide ball from Leach on 99 on the stroke of tea.

Carse and Mark Wood added valuable runs for the ninth wicket to take Durham past the 200-run mark and their first batting point. However, Tongue wrapped up the innings with two excellent deliveries to skittle Wood and Chris Rushworth to claim his first five-wicket haul of the term.

WORCS 4th innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st79DKH MitchellJD Libby
2nd10TC FellJD Libby
3rd30JD LibbyJA Haynes
4th15BL D'OliveiraJD Libby
5th1MH WesselsJD Libby
6th0OB CoxJD Libby
7th1OB CoxEG Barnard
8th12J LeachOB Cox
9th9OB CoxJC Tongue
10th7CAJ MorrisJC Tongue

County Championship

Division 1
TeamMWLDPT
NOTTS431068
LANCS421157
WARKS421156
HANTS421153
YORKS412140
SOM404014
Division 2
TeamMWLDPT
ESSEX430177
GLOUC431064
DURH311140
NHNTS412138
SURR301227
GLAM403123
Division 3
TeamMWLDPT
KENT440083
MIDDX431067
WORCS422049
LEICS412143
DERBS412142
SUSS404018
Group 1
TeamMWLDPT
NOTTS10424151
WARKS10415145
DURH10325132
ESSEX10325129
WORCS10136109
DERBS1005572
Group 2
TeamMWLDPT
SOM10415148
HANTS10424145
GLOUC10532131
SURR10226123
LEICS10244111
MIDDX1027184
Group 3
TeamMWLDPT
LANCS10415150
YORKS10514149
GLAM10226127
NHNTS10334123
KENT1003797
SUSS1015494