Michael Jones, Nic Maddinson ease Durham to seven-wicket victory

Durham 296 (Jones 97, Maddinson 56, Parkinson 3-56) and 108 for 3 (Jones 50, Maddinson 31*) beat Leicestershire 202 (Potts 6-52) and 198 (Kimber 75, Potts 7-49) by seven wickets

Durham needed only 37 minutes to wrap up a seven-wicket victory after another chastening week for Leicestershire in the LV= Insurance County Championship.

Michael Jones, who fell three runs short of a century in the first innings, added a 58-ball fifty before Durham completed the win effectively inside eight sessions after rain washed out more than two thirds of the opening day.

Nic Maddinson, the Australian international, finished unbeaten on 31 after on-driving Michael Finan for the winning boundary in the ninth over of the final morning, ensuring that England pace bowler Matthew Potts’s outstanding performance to take 13 wickets in the match was in a winning cause.

Durham themselves have had a poor 2022. This was only their second red-ball success of a season in which they finished bottom or next-to-bottom of their group in both white-ball competitions.

Yet they always had the measure of Leicestershire, who are in danger of suffering a fourth winless season in the last 10 years.

Bowled out for 202 in the first innings after Durham had won the toss, Potts taking six for 52, Leicestershire conceded a first-innings lead of 94 before being dismissed for 198 in the second innings despite Louis Kimber’s 75.

Potts went one better than in the first innings by finishing with seven for 49, recording his second haul of 10 wickets or more in a match with overall career-best figures of 13 for 101.

Chasing a modest 105 to win after Potts took Leicestershire’s final wicket on Wednesday afternoon, Durham resumed on 54 for two, Jones signalling their intention to finish the job quickly by driving Finan’s first ball of the day for four.

Jones, who played some Second XI matches for Leicestershire in 2017, completed his second half-century of the match off 57 balls when he forced Chris Wright through the covers for his eighth boundary.

Wright, underlining the story of the match in that it was a pitch on which no batter ever felt comfortable for long, hit back by bowling Jones next ball, yet it was no more than a fleeting moment of encouragement for the home side.

New batter David Bedingham was close to being out in the next over when he hit Finan in the air close to the fielder at midwicket but settled to pick up two more boundaries in the over with classic cover drives.

Finan, a left-arm seamer in only his second first-class match at the age of 26, had bowled an impressive spell to take two quick wickets on Wednesday evening. He was unable to stifle Durham’s progress this time but he had made a good impression in the match.

Sol Budinger, another making his first-class debut after his move from Nottinghamshire, caught the eye with a first-innings half-century and Tom Scriven, a right-arm seamer picked up by Leicestershire from Hampshire last winter, also showed some promise on his first-class bow.

Yet these were minor crumbs of comfort for the Foxes, who have two more chances – against Middlesex at home next week and away to Derbyshire in the last week of the season – to avoid another zero in the wins column.

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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