Durham 337 for 9 (Coughlin 90, Lees 84, Eckersley 78*) v Derbyshire
Paul Coughlin and Ned Eckersley shared a record-breaking stand for Durham on a frustrating rain-affected day for North Group leaders Derbyshire in the Bob Willis Trophy match at Emirates Riverside.
The pair took their seventh-wicket stand to 157 in 49 overs, a Durham record against Derbyshire, before Matt Critchley bowled Coughlin for a career-best 90 from 146 balls.
The leg-spinner then bowled Matty Potts two balls later but Eckersley was unbeaten on 78 with Durham 337 for 9 when rain arrived shortly after lunch, wiping out 57 overs from the day’s allocation.
Derbyshire would have expected to restrict Durham to a lot less when the day began but their bowling lacked intensity and the second new ball failed to trouble Coughlin and Eckersley.
Coughlin had set the tone by taking advantage of wide balls from Ben Aitchison to drive two fours, the second one taking him to his first 50 of the season and the eighth of his career from 75 balls.
A lofted drive at Ed Barnes only just cleared a leaping Billy Godleman at mid off and Eckersley survived an lbw appeal on 40 when he played across the line at Sam Connors but there were few other alarms for the pair.
Eckersley’s 50, his first of the summer, was a more sedate affair and contained only one four but it had helped shift the momentum Durham’s way after Derbyshire reduced them to 155 for 6 shortly after tea on day one.
The previous highest seventh-wicket stand against Derbyshire of 130, which also featured Coughlin with Paul Collingwood three years ago, was comfortably passed and a century was beckoning for the all-rounder when Critchley was introduced two overs before lunch.
His third ball tempted Coughlin into a cut but he played on and Potts went two balls later when Critchley turned one past his forward defensive push.
Matthew Salisbury edged Barnes to first slip in the first over after lunch but Eckersley struck the seamer for two consecutive fours before the weather had the final say.
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