Durham have battled back in the morning session of day three of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash against Derbyshire giving them hope of an improbable comeback.
The home side had the worst possible start to the third day when Cameron Steel edged his third ball off Duanne Olivier behind to Daryn Smit. Nathan Rimmington arrived at the crease to partner Gareth Harte in the desperate battle to keep Durham in contention, only 50 runs ahead of the visitors.
Both batsmen were forced to contend with hostile bowling from Olivier and Hardus Viljoen, with the former rattling the helmet of Harte. However, Harte and Rimmington held firm and capitalised on wayward bowling as the extras column surpassed the fifty-run mark and Durham’s lead grew.
Rimmington and Harte found their confidence at the crease, finding the gaps in the field to notch valuable boundaries. Harte scored his maiden first-class fifty off 120 deliveries, including five boundaries, while the 100-partnership with Rimmington soon followed.
Derbyshire snagged a crucial breakthrough just before lunch as Matt Critchley removed Rimmington lbw for 42. Harte ended the session unbeaten on 56 with Matt Salisbury at the crease, with the home side’s lead at 165.