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County Championship: Glamorgan's Billy Root causes Durham headaches

Billy Root walks off after his dismissal
Billy Root was playing his first match of the season
LV= County Championship Division Two, Riverside, Chester-le-Street (day two)
Durham 311: Stokes 82, Petersen 78; Hogan 4-67 & 39-2
Glamorgan 365 (89 overs): Root 88, Neser 62, Carlson 53, Northeast 51; Potts 4-61, Raine 4-61
Durham (6 pts) trail Glamorgan (7 pts) by 15 runs with eight second-innings wickets standing
Match scorecard

Billy Root led a Glamorgan fightback with 88 as they ran up 365 to take an unlikely first-innings lead of 54 over Durham.

The home side are 39 for two, 15 behind.

Root, in his first match of the season, added 113 with Michael Neser (62), while there were earlier 50s for Sam Northeast and Kiran Carlson before Glamorgan slumped to 163-7.

England hopeful Matty Potts and Ben Raine both took four for 61.

But England captain Ben Stokes went wicketless in three short and expensive spells of four overs apiece.

It was not a morning session for the headline acts as Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne scratched around, adding a single off 27 balls before falling lbw to Ben Raine for 17.

Sam Northeast stroked an elegant 51 in 68 balls before nicking Chris Rushworth, and Stokes then went for 33 runs in his four-over burst as Carlson laid into him.

Carlson was bowled by Potts the ball after lunch for 53 off 45 balls, and when the paceman had Chris Cooke caught down leg-side for 16 at 163-7, Durham were firmly in the driving seat and Potts had 28 victims for the season, the leading total in the Championship.

The game changed during the afternoon as Neser and Root started cautiously before putting together Glamorgan’s biggest eighth-wicket stand against Durham of 113.

Stokes could not break through while Brydon Carse, playing his first Durham game since July 2021 because of injury, was rapid, but somewhat wayward as Glamorgan were let off the hook with Durham unable to back up Potts and Raine.

Neser’s muscular 62 was his best score for Glamorgan and Root took them to a third batting point in the company of the injured Timm van der Gugten (38 not out) in fairly untroubled fashion.

Van der Gugten had the ever-enthusiastic Labuschagne doing his legwork, a rare case of an overseas star acting as runner.

Left 14 overs to bat, Durham lost Sean Dickson for 16 leg-before to Michael Hogan while Keegan Petersen, on five, had his middle stump ripped out by Neser as Glamorgan finished the day on a high.

Glamorgan batter Billy Root told BBC Sport Wales:

“It’s always nice to be involved and frustrating when you get left out, but that’s the reality of cricket so to come back in and score a few runs, to spend time out there with Ness and Timm, I really enjoyed today.

“We just talked about small targets, building partnerships, and as the day went on and the wicket was pretty good, we thought ‘let’s keep pressing on and chipping away.’

“It’s been two contrasting days really, last night we’d lost two early and now they have, but it’s still very much in the balance.

“I’m just interested in when it’s my time to go in, to play as well as I can to turn games around for Glamorgan or if we’re in a strong position, make it even stronger.”

Durham all-rounder Ben Raine told BBC Radio Newcastle:

“We felt pretty confident going into the (second) session we were going to have a bit of a lead but they batted quite well and we didn’t bowl that well.

“It’s disappointing but it’s turned into a good pitch now and we’ll back ourselves to have a good batting day on day three.

“(Matty Potts) has showed signs of being very good but this year he’s been unbelievable, the way he bowled at (India’s Cheteshwar) Pujara at Sussex was Test cricket, he bowled quick all day.

“He’s ready for Test cricket and I’m sure Ben Stokes is impressed with what he’s seen, he’s bowled brilliantly in the last two games and been on fire, I honestly think he deserves to get picked.”

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