County Championship: Worcestershire on top against Durham

Tom Fell
Wicketkeeper Tom Fell's half-century was his fifth in first class cricket
LV= County Championship Division One, New Road
Worcestershire 323: Fell 78, Cox 67, Rushworth 4-70
Durham: 14-0
Worcestershire lead by 309
Worcestershire 3 pts, Durham 3 pts
Match scorecard

Tom Fell and Ben Cox made half centuries as Worcestershire had the better of the first day against Durham.

Having lost captain Daryl Mitchell to just his second delivery, Fell (78) gave the home side the advantage.

Alexei Kervezee and Fell went in successive balls, but Cox's quickfire 67 swung the momentum back, despite Paul Coughlin's career-best 4-70.

Worcestershire were finally all out for 323, before Mark Stoneman and Keaton Jennings saw Durham to 14-0 at stumps.

The hosts, who have won just one of their first four Championship games this season, looked to be in trouble again when Mitchell was clean bowled by Chris Rushworth (3-69).

Coughlin's career day
Paul Coughlin's previous best first class figures came when he took 3-42 against Lancashire in June 2014

Richard Oliver (36) helped put on 64 for the second wicket with Fell before he was bowled by Graham Onions shortly before lunch.

Rushworth removed first Alex Gidman and then had Fell caught by Scott Borthwick to leave Worcestershire in trouble at 160-5.

Having already had Kervezee caught behind, Coughlin trapped Ross Whiteley lbw, but Cox's counter attack saw him make his 67 off just 73 balls.

Cox eventually edged Coughlin to wicketkeeper Michael Richardson, but tail-enders Joe Leach (24) and Jack Shantry (23) added a vital few runs to earn Worcestershire a third batting bonus point.

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes:

"Bowling conditions were very helpful and to get the total we have, we are delighted and I think Durham will be disappointed.

"The two young players played very well. Tom Fell's biggest asset is his composure. He is relaxed under pressure.

"Losing two wickets in two balls was a blow but Ben Cox did his job in seeing it through until he was last out. He has worked really hard in the nets."

Durham seamer Paul Coughlin:

"I think this morning it was quite a good toss to win.

"The wicket was, I wouldn't say damp, but it was doing quite a bit in the air and off the surface. It was pretty difficult to control.

"Every one of the bowlers was a little bit unfortunate at times but that happens. Things don't always go as planned."