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Chris Cooke stars with hundred to ensure Glamorgan draw against Durham

14 Jun 2023 3 minute read
Glamorgan CC

Chris Cooke defied Durham on the final day at the Riverside with a century to secure a draw for Glamorgan, maintaining their unbeaten record in County Championship Division Two this term.

Cooke arrived at the crease after Kiran Carlson fell from the fifth ball of the day when the visitors were reduced to 159 for five, staring down the possibility of an innings defeat.

But the wicketkeeper kept the home side at bay with a brilliant performance, notching his second hundred of the season with a score of 134 not out.

Timm van der Gugten was equally impressive to record his seventh first-class fifty, hitting 52 in an unbeaten stand worth 153 with Cooke.

Durham made the early breakthrough to dismiss Carlson and were seemingly on course for victory after reducing the visitors to 273 for seven.

But they could not prise out the eighth-wicket stand on a pitch that offered little assistance for both pace and spin bowlers.

Durham remain top of the Division Two table, still comfortably ahead of their rivals at the halfway stage of the campaign.

Early breakthrough

Durham did not have to wait long to earn the first breakthrough of the day as Bas de Leede claimed the vital wicket of Carlson for 35 when the Glamorgan skipper picked out Craig Miles at short midwicket.

Still 81 behind, the visitors required a strong effort from their final five wickets to fend off the Durham charge for victory.

Cooke and Billy Root were disciplined to see off the remaining spells from De Leede and Ben Raine before settling in against the left-arm spin of Ajaz Patel.

The batters put on a stand of 72 before Root had a waft at a wide delivery from Raine to hand Durham their sixth wicket to present a chance to break into the Glamorgan tail.

However, Cooke led a counter-attack after lunch, dispatching Miles for back-to-back boundaries to reach his fifty and he was far from done.

Although Andy Gorvin was bowled by Miles, Van der Gugten joined Cooke, and was well up for the challenge, remaining solid in defence and taking his scoring opportunities when given the chance.

Durham tried an array of bowling combinations and tactics as Scott Borthwick threw everything at his disposal to break the partnership.

The combination of outstanding batting and a lifeless day-four pitch frustrated the home side.

Cooke capitalised as the field spread to grind his way to a deserved century from 168 balls, which took the game away from Durham in the afternoon session.

Van der Gugten also claimed his milestone to reach fifty before both teams shook hands on a draw in the final hour.

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