Durham 132 for 0 (Jones 78*, Lees 46*) vs Middlesex
Durham made a solid start to their LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two clash against Middlesex posting 132 without loss before rain brought a premature end to day one at Seat Unique Riverside.
The Durham openers will return in the morning on day two aiming to build on their platform. The Middlesex bowlers will be looking for more help from the wicket after an unsuccessful initial burst after opting to bowl first in Chester-le-Street.
Middlesex captain Toby Roland-Jones won the toss and put Durham into bat on a green wicket at the Riverside. Middlesex were looking for early wickets, and Ethan Bamber almost prised out England opener Lees with an inside edge, but the ball trickled just wide of leg stump.
It was the only chance offered in the morning session. Lees, alongside Jones, blunted the effect of the new ball as the visitors failed to find movement in the air or off the pitch in the opening hour. Jones was the more positive of the two players and pushed Durham into the lunch break to 77 without loss.
Jones upped the ante after the lunch break and successive boundaries off Tom Helm brought up his second fifty of the season, from 107 balls. The Durham openers cruised past the 100-run mark for the opening stand, with both players looking extremely comfortable at the crease.
In search for a breakthrough Roland-Jones turned to Indian seamer Umesh Yadav, who was economical in his burst from the Lumley End, but could not find a way through the defences of Lees and Jones, with the latter pushing his score to 78, including 14 boundaries, before the elements closed in at Chester-le-Street and brought an end to the day.