The Champion County match between MCC and Durham is fascinatingly poised after Day Three at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Close - Day Three
Durham 248 & 257 (Stoneman 115)
MCC 282 & 48/2
A century for Durham opener Mark Stoneman helped last year’s Champions to 257 all out in their second innings, a lead of 223.
And in the 20 overs before the close, wickets for Jamie Harrison and Scott Borthwick, reducing MCC to 48/2, kept the game in the balance.
Durham started the third day on 39/1, a mere five runs ahead, and they were put in a precarious position when England’s Borthwick was removed by Kyle Hogg with the first delivery of the day.
With his side in trouble, Stoneman put on an excellent display of batting against a high-class bowling attack, striking 15 fours as he put MCC to the sword.
When Stoneman, who is captaining Durham in this match in the absence of England assistant-coach Paul Collingwood, departed with the score on 174/5, he had made 115 of the runs, before he was bowled by Nottinghamshire’s Andre Adams.
There was still work to do for Durham, and an invaluable 56 for Gordon Muchall, aided by important contributions from the tail helped them to a score of 257 all out.
Requiring 224 runs to win, MCC were faced with 20 overs in the final session of the day, and both openers were dismissed cheaply, with Luis Reece (3) being dismissed by Harrison, followed by Sam Robson (17) being removed by Borthwick.
The match goes into the final day on a knife edge, with India's Virender Sehwag being joined by Kent’s Daniel Bell-Drummond as MCC search for 176 more runs, while Durham will hope for 8 more wickets to win the Champion County game.
Stoneman: "It gives us a chance of winning"