worcestershire were soon amongst the wickets on a rain-hit opening day of the specsavers county championship encounter at the emirates riverside today.
club captain joe leach decided to bowl via an uncontested toss against a side worcestershire defeated by five wickets at New Road earlier in the season.
the move was quickly justified with durham reduced to 47-6 before the first enforced break.
the afternoon and evening sessions were blighted by poor weather and ned eckersley and ben raine were able to lead a partial durham recovery in between the showers to 122-6 from 40 overs at the close with an unbroken stand of 75.
eckersley was unbeaten on 39 and raine was 25 not out.
leach had figures of 17-7-38-2, dillon pennington 9-4-17-1, charlie morris 6-1-23-2 and ed barnard 8-3-23-1.
the county named an unchanged side, relying on the line-up in action against derbyshire at kidderminster.
leach and pennington shared the new ball – and the wickets soon started to tumble.
pennington was first to break through as durham captain cameron bancroft (8) was lbw with 19 on the board.
leach then struck with successive deliveries as gareth harte (4) and jack burnham (0) were both trapped leg before.
it took his first class wicket tally for the campaign up to the 25 mark.
the floodlights came on in increasingly gloomy light but the wickets continued to tumble.
morris replaced pennington after an opening spell of 5-3-3-1 and it became 34-4 when opener alex lees (12) had his middle stump knocked out of the ground.
barnard came into the attack in place of leach (7-1-21-2) and soon got amongst the wickets.
ryan pringle (1) flicked a delivery into the hands of josh dell at square leg with the total 43-5 in the 17th over.
morris enjoyed another breakthrough in the next over when graham clark (12) pushed forward and edged through to keeper ben cox.
it was morris’s 32nd first class victim of the season but drizzle then began to fall and the players left the field for the first time.
only 22 more overs were possible during the remainder of the day.