Luke Procter continued his good form with the bat for Northamptonshire before Scott Borthwick fought back with an half-century of his own on day one of this LV= Insurance County Championship fixture against Northamptonshire.
Borthwick was unbeaten on 54 at the close after Durham had slumped to 49 for four against some tight Northamptonshire bowling under floodlights with Ben Sanderson claiming two scalps. The visitors finished the day on 108 for four after a 59-run stand between Borthwick and Graham Clark.
Earlier Chris Rushworth struck three times in his opening spell to put Northamptonshire on the back foot.
Luke Procter though made a gutsy 76, combining in a partnership worth 66 with an positive James Sales in the afternoon session. Matthew Potts who was expensive early on responded well to take four wickets and wrap up the tail as Northamptonshire were bowled out for 183.
Although Northamptonshire’s batsmen found the boundary frequently during their innings, several were guilty of lack of judgement outside off-stump and lost wickets at regular intervals.
Showing his trademark metronomic accuracy, Rushworth found plenty of movement to beat the bat. He removed Ricardo Vasconcelos early who edged behind to give keeper Ned Eckersley the first of five catches. Emilio Gay too was caught behind but off his glove down the leg side. In-form Rob Keogh gave Rushworth his third wicket when he edged to Paul Coughlin at third slip who took a good low catch.
Saif Zaib also edged behind off Ben Raine in what was becoming a familiar story. Adam Rossington played a couple of aggressive boundaries but could consider himself unlucky to be adjudged lbw after leaving a ball from Potts with Northamptonshire 91 for five at lunch.
Proctor though was unbeaten at the interval. He had played some crunching drives and was particularly harsh on Potts, smashing him down the ground and driving him to the long-on boundary before rocking back and pulling a short ball dismissively through midwicket.
Potts removed Harry Gouldstone soon after lunch but Sales, who hit the winning runs against Surrey on debut last week, got into his work quickly with a string of boundaries. He pulled Potts confidently through midwicket for four and drove Raine through extra cover.
Procter dispatched spinner Liam Trevaskis over wide long-on for six, but his vigil came to an end after 136 balls when he nicked the spinner behind.
Northamptonshire then lost their last three wickets for just one run in nine balls, Sales left stranded on 38 not out.
Sanderson struck in the first over of Durham’s reply, finding the top of Alex Lees’ off stump. He then had Michael Jones lbw before Rob Keogh brilliantly ran out David Bedingham with a direct hit from cover. The Durham right-hander had just reached 1,000 Championship runs for the season. When Sales had Eckersley lbw, Durham’s scoring had started to dry up.