With three-quarters of the county championship season now played, Nottinghamshire enter the home straight with a home fixture over Durham this week.

The two sides have only met on twelve previous occasions in Nottingham, with the hosts leading overall by four wins to two, with six matches being drawn.

It’s only twenty years since Durham became the 18th first class county and they managed a draw on their first visit to Nottingham, despite being made to follow-on.

"Despite their excellent start Notts have now slipped into third place in the table after the latest round of matches."

Aussie Dean Jones scored 154 not out after the home side had registered a couple of centurions of their own – with skipper Tim Robinson making 164 and Chris Lewis chipped in with 107.

Durham’s most emphatic win at Nottingham was in 2009 when they won by an innings, after Steve Harmison’s 6-20 blew the hosts away for just 83 in their second knock.

In 2010 the roles were reversed as Notts won by an innings on the back of a stand of 237 for the seventh wicket between Ali Brown, who made 134, and Chris Read 124 not out.

Last year Graeme White took four wickets as Durham were bowled out for 253, chasing 321 for victory. The match, won in three days by the home side, also featured a first innings century from Alex Hales.

His 115 puts him alongside the following, who have all recorded home championship tons against Durham.

164 Tim Robinson (1994)
101 Paul Johnson (1994)
184 Tim Robinson (1996)
133 Greg Blewett (2001)
103 Usman Afzaal (2002)
166 not out David Hussey (2004)
108 Chris Read (2004)
114 Jason Gallian (2006)
100 Bilal Shafayat (2008)
124 not out Chris Read (2010)

Durham have had three other centurions in the fixture since Jones’ effort in the debut meeting, with Sherwin Campbell, Darren Blenkiron and Dale Benkenstein all scoring hundreds.

Apart from Harmison’s splendid performance two years ago two other Durham bowlers have picked up 6 wicket hauls – David Graveney 6-80 in 1994 and Mark Davies 6-78 in 2004.

Nottinghamshire’s best home bowling performance against Durham came from Australian leg-sppinner Stuart MacGill, who snared figures of 6-81 in 2004, the season that the Trent Bridge side completed their only ‘home and away double’ in the series of matches.

Andy Afford with 5-45 and Paul Franks’ 5-41 are the other Notts bowlers to take five wickets in an innings against the side from the north east.

The two sides met at Chester-le-Street back in April. In a match played in icy cold conditions, Notts picked up their second win of the season with a 114-run success.

Put into bat, Notts were reduced to 38-4 before scrambling to 161 all out. With Ben Phillips taking season-best figures of 4-33, the home side were blown away for 129.

Second time around, Notts had Michael Lumb to thank for posting a score of 335. The left-hander’s 131, his first century for his new county, left Durham to chase an improbable 368 for victory.

At the end of the third day they had been reduced to 203-9 but some final morning resistance from Mitch Claydon (55) and Graeme Onions (28 not out), who added 73 – plus a stoppage for rain – held Notts up for two hours before victory was confirmed.

Durham failed to pick up a single victory from any of their opening ten championship matches and were stranded at the bottom of the table at that point. Successive wins however, over Middlesex and Surrey, have revitalised their hopes of remaining in the First Division and of ending Nottinghamshire’s unbeaten run this week.

Twelve championship matches, plus the first class friendly over Loughborough MCCU, means Notts are undefeated in first class cricket this season – their best start to a campaign since 1937.

Despite their excellent start Notts have now slipped into third place in the table after the latest round of matches.

Whilst Chris Read’s side were held to a draw against Somerset in Taunton, Warwickshire overcame near-neighbours Worcestershire to pull 21 points clear.

Both sides have four matches remaining, including two matches against each other. Additionally, Notts play Durham this week and must also travel to face Surrey at the Kia Oval.

The leaders aren’t in action this week but then face Middlesex at home and also have a return trip to Worcester to make.

Sussex have gone second, after defeating Middlesex at Hove and are ten points clear of Notts – and eleven behind the Bears - having played a game more than both.

All 12 of Notts championship matches have gone into a fourth day so far (although the matches at Worcester and Uxbridge were washed-out on the last day).

Since championship cricket switched to four-day matches, Notts have twice gone throughout a complete season without finishing a match in three days, in 2001 and 2009.

Milestones to look out for this week:

Nottinghamshire batsmen have scored a total of 1,499 first class centuries, so there will be added significance for the next one recorded. The first, incidentally, was scored by John Jackson against Kent at Cranbrook, in 1863.

Michael Lumb, who has scored a total of 969 career runs against Durham -with three centuries, is closing in on 1,000 first class runs for the season, with 931 scored to date.

Dave Bracgirdle provides ball-by-ball commentary on all of Nottinghamshire's LV= County Championship matches on behalf of BBC Radio Nottingham. He tweets @bracecricket