Contrary to expectations, the weather was kind enough to allow 86 overs of cricket to be played at Trent Bridge on the third day of Nottinghamshire’s LV= County Championship match against Durham.
The visitors built on their slender first innings advantage of 40, to close on 301-7, a lead of 341, with Mark Stoneman scoring 114.
In gloomy conditions, Stoneman and overnight partner, Will Smith, resumed from their overnight score of 27-0.
Notts began with Ben Phillips and Andy Carter in tandem but, although both bowled tidily enough, neither could find the penetration to make early inroads.
Stoneman left his partner behind, with some forceful square cuts and well-timed clips to the midwicket boundary and he looked the more assured of the two as the stand advanced beyond fifty.
In the thirteenth over of the day Luke Fletcher, who had replaced Phillips, had Smith (15) caught behind, flashing at a delivery which offered only a touch of width.
Notts tried to put pressure on Keaton Jennings, who only made a single in the first innings, but the youngster eased himself into an innings which rapidly blossomed.
Stoneman’s own fifty came up from 91 deliveries, with 8 fours, but he twice was saved by umpire Steve Gale as Notts appealed for a caught behind and then an lbw decision, both from the bowling of Paul Franks.
Jennings was undefeated on 31 at the luncheon interval but didn’t add to that tally as he fell in the third over of the afternoon session.
Thrusting bat and pad at the ball he was clearly vulnerable as the ball struck the softer substance first and Richard Kettleborough upheld Ben Phillips’ appeal for leg before.
Phil Mustard again batted at number four in the order and remained circumspect as Stoneman advanced to his fourth career century (137 balls 14x4), driving Graeme White through the covers to reach the landmark.
White’s next over was highly eventful and cost 17 runs, with Mustard powering a six into the advertising boards in front of the New Stand and then Stoneman had a reprieve when Alex Hales dropped him at deep square leg.
Stoneman (114) had another life immediately afterwards, this time pulling Phillips to Paul Franks, fielding in a similar position at the other end of the field.
With the floodlights on, burning brightly against the slate-grey skies, the ball may have been lost in flight but it burst through the hands of the fielder and went over the ropes for six.
Despite the obvious disappointment, Phillips responded with a full-pitched delivery that kept low and thudded into the left-hander’s pads, ending his lengthy stay in the middle.
Mustard (21) then fell to Carter, feathering an attempted hook through to ‘keeper Read. Before Paul Collingwood could face his first delivery the rain set in, with Dale Benkenstein undefeated on 1.
After a delay of one and a half hours play resumed with Luke Fletcher getting the next wicket to fall. Benkenstein (19) slashed firmly into the hands of Michael Lumb at gully.
Scott Borthwick (4) fell to another spinner, as he was beaten by the turn and bowled by Graeme White.
Collingwood and Mark Wood shared a stand of 61 before the younger man fell for 30, nicking Fletcher through to Read.
In the final over of the day the Durham captain lofted White away to midwicket for the boundary that brought up his fifty and took the total beyond 300.