Stoic Sam Evans sees Leicestershire to draw at Durham

Sam Evans made a watchful start Getty Images

Leicestershire 273 (Ackermann 81, Azad 66, Potts 6-58) and 183 for 2 (Evans 77*, Ackermann 40*) drew with Durham 428 (Bedingham 191, Dickson 120, Raine 51*) and 239 for 2 dec (Jones 108, Dickson 84)

Leicestershire defiantly held out for a draw in their LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two match against Durham at the Riverside, losing only two wickets on the final day of the contest.

Durham declared overnight with a lead of 394 in the hope of pressing for their first victory of the campaign, but chances were hard to come by on a lifeless wicket. Ollie Gibson had a day to remember as he claimed his maiden first-class wicket to mark an encouraging performance with the ball in difficult conditions.

Sam Evans provided the stoic defence required to see his team to the draw, collecting his first fifty of the term and holding out an end for over 250 deliveries, unbeaten on 77 before the captains shook hands. Durham moved to second place in the table after gaining 15 points, while Leicestershire collected 12 for their exploits to remain undefeated after two matches.

After Durham declared their second innings, Leicestershire began their attempt to see out the day in defiant fashion with Hassan Azad and Evans. Chris Rushworth and Matthew Potts passed the bat on a few occasions, while the odd delivery kept low, but it was not enough to trouble the visitors' openers. Both batters received blows to the body and Evans was struck on the helmet as he attempted to avoid a bouncer from Potts.

However, they were rewarded for their resilience when Evans found the fence to bring up the fifty partnership in the 19th over. Leicestershire were on their way to shutting out the home side in the morning session, but Azad made an uncharacteristic mistake against Liam Trevaskis, losing his shape a the crease and was subsequently bowled through his legs to end the opening stand for 66. Frustration crept in for the home side after lunch as George Rhodes survived edging Potts between Ned Eckersley and David Bedingham, and a great shout for a catch at short leg by Sean Dickson which was deemed to have hit the ground.

Gibson eventually prised out Rhodes to claim a deserved maiden first-class wicket, with arguably one of his worst deliveries of the match as the Leicestershire man gloved a leg glance behind to Eckersley. Evans' defiance continued and he worked his way to his half-century from 140 balls, keeping matters simple with a stubborn resistance against the home side.

Durham skipper Scott Borthwick attempted a variety of methods to look for a way into the Leicestershire line-up, but the Riverside day-four pitch offered no assistance for the home side in pursuit of their first win of the season. Evans and Colin Ackermann were steadfast in their defence and posted an unbeaten partnership of 84 for the third wicket before both sides agreed to call time on the contest, settling for the stalemate.

Leics 4th innings Partnerships

1st66Hassan AzadST Evans
2nd33GH RhodesST Evans
3rd84CN AckermannST Evans